IKEA city center by querkraft

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.

From a three-phase architecture competition involving several workshops querkraft emerged as winner. At the briefing stage already, the client formulated the aim: “We want to be a good neighbour”. querkraft’s approach to achieving this goal is reflected by a building that represents an added value, also for its surroundings.

Photo © Christina Häusler

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”.

External shelving
The building’s external shell recalls a set of shelves. This about 4.5-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.

Photo © Christina Häusler

Openness allows interaction
The entrance level is a lively place – a generous void will link it to the retail areas that stretch in front of it along Mariahilfer Straße. A void extending right through the interior of the building will allow visual contacts between the different storeys.

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. In the “Urban Heat Island-Strategy Plan“ of the City of Vienna planting is one of the most important measures.

Photo © Christina Häusler

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 will be improved at the pedestrian level, too. Computer simulations indicate a relevant temperature decrease of 1.5°C.

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.

Photo © Christina Häusler

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. To ensure the optimal implementation of this car-free, inner city IKEA an almost entirely female team of architects under Carmen Hottinger as querkraft’s project manager is working in close collaboration with the client. Source by querkraft.

Photo © Christina HäuslerLocation: 1150 Vienna, Austria

Architect: querkraft

Building physics: Ingenieurbüro P. Jung

Green space: Kräftner Landschaftsarchitektur Green4Cities

Structural engineer: Thomas Lorenz ZT GmbH

Building services: RHM GmbH

Cost management / calls for tender: Werner Consult ZTGmbH

Electrical engineer: TB Eipeldauer + Partner GmbH

Fire protection: FSE Ruhrhofer & Schweitzer GmbH

Client: IKEA Österreich

Size (GFA/NFA): 29,480 m2 / 26,200 m2 (entire building)

Completion: 08/2021

Photographs: Christina Häusler, Courtesy of querkraft

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