03. Jan 2023
Photo: © querkraft- christina häusler

It is not news when IKEA opens a new department store somewhere, but it is news when such a facility is purposely designed and built to be without a single parking space in the heart of a European metropolis.

This is just like the seven-story IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof store, which from the outside looks like a cheerful bookshelf, enlivened by numerous trees and plants on the terraces.

© querkraft- christina häusler

The authors of this design concept, architects from the Vienna studio Querkraft Architekten, deliberately designed a building without parking spaces because they believe that this is not only the future of ecological cities but also the future of the retail concept. The idea is that customers have a good connection to the department store by public transportation or by foot and feel like neighbors in the building when they come to shop. Hence the roof terrace with photovoltaic system, open to the public, but also the hostel above the first four floors of the sales area, with 345 beds.

© querkraft- christina häusler

"About two-thirds of Vienna residents, who live in the city's center, don't even have cars anymore. They use public transportation, walk, ride a bicycle, or scooter. IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof is in line with all these behavioral changes," says the IKEA company, and adds that customers no longer even think about how they will transport their goods if they don't have a parking space because they can be delivered to their home address.

© querkraft- christina häusler

As many as 160 tree trunks in pots and creeping plants were able to be incorporated into the facade thanks to its grid layout. They are expected to work together as a natural air conditioning system and purify the air in the immediate vicinity.

According to the architects, calculations have shown that planting this many trees can reduce the temperature around the building by approximately 1.5 degrees Celsius.


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