querkraft architekten, together with Kräftner Landschaftsarchitektur and green4cities, have completed the new “The Good Neighbor – City Center IKEA” in Vienna—the first sustainable IKEA store that makes an important contribution to the future of living in an ecological city and also for the future of retailing.
The Good Neighbour – City Center IKEA’s project recently won a 2022 Green Good Design Award from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The project represents the first store developed by the Swedish furniture manufacturer and retailer that is most importantly “inner-city” as opposed to the typical IKEA stores positioned near airports outside the city.
The new IKEA Westbahnhof store in central Vienna rethink just about everything one might expect from an IKEA store: car-free shopping and a tree-covered modular design.
The building is a seven-story structure that is also home to a rooftop terrace that’s open to the public, a café, and a hostel on the two upper floors.
This urban shopping venue mimicks IKEA’s shelving units.
This 4.3-meter-deep, shelf-like zone runs around the building and provides shade. It allows spaces to expand and provides room for terraces and greenery, as well as for servant elements like lifts, escape stairs, and building services.
This is an urban IKEA with excellent connections to the public transport system and an inviting roof terrace — thus, a good neighbor.
At the briefing stage already, the client formulated the aim: “We want to be a good neighbor.”
The architects’ approach to achieving this goal is reflected by a building that represents an added value, also for its surroundings.
The roof terrace is accessible to the public offering a place to drink coffee, relax, and to enjoy the view of the city, and a large amount of greenery on all the facades — these are all aspects that contribute to being “a good neighbor.”
The entrance level is a lively place – a generous void links it to the retail areas that stretch in front of it along the street.
A void extending right through the interior of the building allows visual contact between the different floors.
Another impressive element of the building is the fact that 160 trees on and around the building.
Trees on the facade and on the roof have a perceptible impact on the microclimate.
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.
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 improves at the pedestrian level, too. Computer simulations indicate a relevant temperature decrease of 1.5°C.
To ensure efficient conditioning of the building the services are based on a simple principle: short distances and direct access.
Inside the building, the infrastructure is left visible which increases the perceived height of the space.
The prefabricated reinforced concrete columns stand on a 10 x 10-meter grid that allows flexibility in the use and design of the spaces.
Adaptations to meet changing demands can be made easily, as is already becoming apparent.
IKEA retail occupies the lower floors, and the Jo&Joe Hostel with 345 beds is located on the top two floors.
This mix creates a building that is alive 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Project: The Good Neighbor – City Center IKEA
Architects: querkraft architekten zt gmbh
Landscape Architects: Kräftner Landschaftsarchitektur
Structural Engineers: Thomas Lorenz ZT GmbH
Building Physics: Ingenieurbüro P. Jung
Collaborating Institution: Green4Cities GmbH
Client: IKEA Österreich
Photographers: Christina Häusler