Redefining IKEA for the Sustainability Era

Furniture giant IKEA has unveiled the design of its new store in Vienna, Austria, and it shows a dramatic departure from the familiar blue warehouses. We look at how the design addresses “radically changed customer and mobility behaviours”

Designed by Querkraft Architekten, the under-construction IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof sees the flatpack furniture giant reinvent its retail experience for a new type of customer: city dwelling, car-free and sustainability conscious. 

Built from steel and concrete with a bookshelf-like appearance hosting tree-filled terraces and open faces across its façade, it provides no space for cars, with visitors taking purchases home by foot or public transport, or having them delivered on the same day.

The design also shows a shift from the funnelled customer flow approach in other stores, with three different entrances supporting a range of shopping types, from quick visits to extensive trips. There will also be a 345-bed hostel on the top two levels, alongside a publically accessible roof garden and restaurants that are designed to serve as a meeting space in the city. 

“Consumer behaviour has been changing tremendously over the past years, and so has mobility behaviour,” said IKEA. “IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof together with an innovative, exciting hospitality concept and rooftop shall become a true experience.”

“We see the project as a platform for bodies to reconnect and interact with each other – finally reuniting them.”

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Images courtesy of IKEA