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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 was working in close collaboration with the client. All participants worked hand in hand so that this great building still inspires the whole project team and led to a strong identification with the inner city IKEA.
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