IKEA Urban Living
Proposal for an inner city, car-free IKEA store




In 2017, IKEA invited Snøhetta to develop ideas for an urban IKEA store near Vienna’s Westbahnhof railway station. The design proposal was awarded 2nd prize in three-phase architecture competition.

The competition brief was based on a study which showed that most customers can carry their shopping home in one blue IKEA bag. The idea of an urban and car-free IKEA including home delivery services was born – a new typology that differs from the typical IKEA store located in the periphery of a city.

Technical details

Design Proposal
Vienna, Austria



hochform. Architekten

Snøhetta developed a conceptual design that refelcts the diversity and vitality of urban life in the Austrian capital. The vibrant city life connects to the store through the integration of the adjacent square, the Europaplatz, and the continuation of the prominent shopping street Mariahilfer Straße, into an interior landscape. A new and striking plaza emphasizes the urban context of the site and its role as an infrastructure hub. This plaza and a grand staircase, both coloured in red, lead the visitors on an urban red carpet experience into the heart of IKEA.

Inside, Snøhetta’s design offers a generous and multi-functional space that is open to everyone. Here, you do not only find classical IKEA showrooms exhibiting furniture – but also living spaces for urban activities and spaces of possibilities, which can be used as working space, or to host events, dinners, etc. As an open urban structure, this IKEA store provides entrances on multiple levels and its multi-functional spaces, the hotel and the restaurant are also accessible after the shop hours.

The building opens again towards the city on the attic with a generous, tilted terrace. This roof patio conveys a park-like atmosphere and offers a beautiful view of the city towards Schönbrunn. By creating a playful façade design and public green roof and by extending the public plaza into the building, the building interacts with its surrounding in a way that creates added value for the city of Vienna and its inhabitants.