IKEA has completed a seven-story furniture store and hostel in Vienna resembling a giant shelving unit with potted plants. It is a new format, urban store, that addresses a growing trend — customers without cars. The unique building was designed by the local studio Querkraft Architekten, whose proposal won the three-phase architectural competition.
Querkraft Architekten: “This building makes an important contribution to the future of a living and ecological city and also to the future of retailing — this is an urban IKEA with excellent connections to the public transport system and an inviting roof terrace — a good neighbor.”
“Being a good neighbor” was the main aim of the project formulated by IKEA. Querkraft responded to this objective with a building that introduced an added value to its urban context. “The roof terrace that is open to the public, the wealth of greenery on all facade areas, a café and an outdoor space with a friendly design — these are all amenities that contribute towards being a good neighbor,” explained the architects.
The impressive facade is reminiscent of a kind of shelving. This 4.5-meter-deep area runs around the building like a series of massive shelves, providing shade. It allows spaces to expand and offers room for terraces, planting, and servant elements, such as lifts, escape staircases, toilets, and building services.
The facade and terrace comprise about 160 large trees having a perceptible influence on the microclimate. The three-dimensional planting provides a greater amount of trees than could be offered by using just the ground alone. Planting is one of the main measures in the Urban Heat Islands — Strategy Plan Vienna. The creepers and the trees of the IKEA furniture store provide cooling and moisture — a natural kind of air conditioning. The air temperature at the pedestrian level is improved by these measures too.
IKEA retail occupies the lower floors, while 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, seven days a week. A ground level is a lively place — a spatial continuum with a mezzanine level and retail areas at the front, along Mariahilfer Straße. The continuous void in the interior allows visual contact between the different levels, encouraging visitors to make their way to the upper floors connected by escalators. The roof terrace is also accessible to the public.
To ensure the efficient conditioning of the building, the services are based on a simple principle — short distances and direct access. The infrastructure is left visible to increase the perceived height of the spaces.
LOCATION: 1150 Vienna
SIZE (GFA/NFA): 29,480 m2 / 26,200 m2 (entire building)
CLIENT: IKEA Österreich
ARCHITECTURE: Querkraft Architekten
BUILDING PHYSICS: Ingenieurbüro P. Jung
GREEN AREA: Kräftner Landschaftsarchitektur, Green4Cities
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Thomas Lorenz ZT GmbH
HVAC Engineering: RHM GmbH
COST MANAGEMENT / TENDERING: Werner Consult ZTGmbH
ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: TB Eipeldauer + Partner GmbH
FIRE PROTECTION: FSE Ruhrhofer & Schweitzer GmbH