Bookcase-inspired Ikea store embraces sustainable shopping
Back in 2020, Ikea revealed plans for a remarkable car-free store in Vienna, Austria. The project is now complete and features an eye-catching design that's conceived as an oversized bookcase covered in greenery.
Ikea Wien Westbahnhof was designed by local firm Querkraft Architekten and measures 21,600 sq m (232,500 sq ft). Structurally, it consists of prefabricated reinforced concrete columns arranged in a grid. Its exterior hosts deep shelf-like areas that provide shade and make space for terraces.
In all, 160 trees are planted on and around the store, which are expected to fill the facade over time and, according to computer simulations, could also help to lower the temperature in the immediate area.
"Trees on the facade and on the roof have a perceptible impact on the microclimate," said the firm. "As the trees could be placed at different heights and depths in the building there is more planting than would be possible on the building's ground area. In the 'Urban Heat Island-Strategy Plan' of the City of Vienna planting is one of the most important measures. The climbing plants and trees of the Ikea furniture store have a cooling and humidifying effect – like a kind of natural air conditioning system. The air temperature will be improved at the pedestrian level, too. Computer simulations indicate a relevant temperature decrease of 1.5 °C [2.5 °F]."
Inside the building, Ikea currently occupies the lower floors, with a 345-bed hostel on the top two floors. The interior is filled with daylight throughout thanks to the generous glazing, which includes a skylight.
The store's public rooftop terrace hosts 280 solar panels, which are used to reduce the building's draw on the grid. Energy efficient heat pumps provide heating and cooling and save around 84 tons of CO2 per year compared to standard systems, says Ikea.
There are also 30 nesting places for swifts to make their home outside and multiple habitats suitable for insects. Additionally, while there are no car parking spaces installed, there are excellent public transport links and local delivery is available via electric trucks and cargo bikes.
Source: Querkraft Architekten