IKEA’s New European Store Will Ditch Parking for Trees

updated Jan 21, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of IKEA
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While IKEA’s Burbank, California store—the chain’s largest location in the United States—has 1,700 parking spaces, its new store in Vienna, Austria will be quite different: It will have no parking spaces at all.

The Swedish company is now constructing a seven-story store which promises to be eco- and mass transportation-friendly. Located in Vienna’s Westbahnhof Station, the retail space will have a sprawling green roof, some 160 trees on terraces, and seamless connections to the city’s tram and subway. 

So just think of it as a public park, but vertical and with furniture and meatballs for sale inside.

“The whole building is geared towards pedestrians, subway and streetcar riders, and cyclists—there is no space for cars,” the company wrote.

But what about transporting all those goods back to your apartment? Won’t that be a hassle? IKEA says that their Vienna store would deliver large items within 24 hours. It’s a design choice that, according to the company, follows megatrends in mobility and consumer behavior.

“Customers have little time and appreciate convenience and comfort. This is clearly noticeable in the furnishing area: More and more customers no longer even think about carrying their purchases home themselves. you can have them delivered.”

The concept is part of IKEA’s commitment to become more sustainable. The green roof, to be specific, will not only help customers unwind but also help mitigate the urban island heat effect, the phenomenon in which cities get hotter due to so much asphalt and concrete in the area. The 160 trees, meanwhile, will absorb CO2 and reduce electricity consumption by cooling the store’s glass facades. The building’s configuration can also be adjusted to add more vegetation.

IKEA began construction last week and expects the Vienna store to open by next year. We can’t wait to see what the finished product will look like.