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Ikea is building a city store with lots of trees and no parking

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A new store under construction in Vienna could be a glimpse of what urban shoppers can expect from the retailer

Rendering of a building with trees on terraces. Ikea

Ikea is constantly testing the boundaries for where and how people want to shop for its endless supply of home goods. Last year, it opened a series of small-format stores in New York, Paris, and London that function more like showrooms than the company’s pick-up-and-go big box stores that sit on the outskirts of cities.

Now, the Swedish company is planning a new store in Vienna that takes the idea of an urban shopping experience to its logical extreme. Located in the Austrian capital’s Westbahnhof Station, the store will cater to urban dwellers who take public transportation.

Designed by Querkraft Architekten, the planned retail space upends the idea of how a store should look. Reminiscent of recent residential towers conceived as “vertical forests”, the seven-story building will feature trees on terraces, a large green roof, and spaces arranged into modular boxes that fit into a busy grid of activity. There’s no parking on site since the company assumes that most people will arrive by train.

Aerial rendering of a building with open facades and terraces filled with trees. Ikea

Ikea says the design takes current “megatrends” in mobility and consumer behavior, catering to the less car-dependent urban population who is used to super fast delivery.

“Customers have little time and appreciate convenience and comfort,” the company said in a statement. “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 Vienna store would deliver large items within 24 hours.

Construction began last week and store will be open for business in 2021.