The good neighbour
Urban, car-free IKEA furniture store and hostel with public roof terrace

Car-free + urban

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 neighbour.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022
First Award | Commercial (Built)

Project Name: First Car-Free city IKEA
Studio Name: Commercial (Built)
Design Team: querkraft architekten zt gmbh
Area: 29,480 m²
Year: 2021
Location: Vienna, Austria
Consultants: Ingenieurbüro P. Jung – Building Physics, Kräftner landschaftsarchitektur / Green4Cities (Green Space), Thomas Lorenz ZT GmbH (Structural Engineering) / Werkraum Ingenieure (Competition-Structural Engineering), RHM GmbH (Buidling Services), Werner Consult ZT GmbH (Cost management), TB Eipeldauer + Partner GmbH (Electrical Engineers), FSE Ruhrhofer & Schweitzer GmbH (Fire Protection)
Photography Credits: Christina Häusler, Hertha Hurnaus
Text Credits: querkraft architects

First Car-Free City IKEA | Querkraft Architects - Sheet1
©Christina Häusler, Hertha Hurnaus

At the briefing stage already, the client formulated the aim: “We want to be a good neighbour”. The architects approach to achieving this goal is reflected by a building that represents an added value, also for its surroundings. The roof terrace accessible to the public that offers somewhere to drink coffee, to relax and to enjoy the view of the city, and the large amount of greenery on all the facades – these are all aspects that contribute to being “a good neighbour”.

First Car-Free City IKEA | Querkraft Architects - Sheet2
©Christina Häusler, Hertha Hurnaus

External shelving  

The building’s external shell recalls a set of shelves. This 4.3-metre-deep, shelf-like zone runs around the building and provides shade. It allows spaces to expand, provides room for terraces and greenery, as well as for servant elements like lifts, escape stairs and building services.

Openness allows interaction

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 contacts between the different storeys.

First Car-Free City IKEA | Querkraft Architects - Sheet3
©Christina Häusler, Hertha Hurnaus

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.

First Car-Free City IKEA | Querkraft Architects - Sheet4
©Christina Häusler, Hertha Hurnaus

Centralised + efficient building services

To ensure efficient conditioning of the building the services are based on a simple principle: short distances and direct access. In the building the infrastructure is left visible, which increases the perceived height of the space.

First Car-Free City IKEA | Querkraft Architects - Sheet5
©Christina Häusler, Hertha Hurnaus

Mix of functions through open floor plans

The prefabricated reinforced concrete columns stand on a c. 10 x 10-metre 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, 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.

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