A new project in central Copenhagen will see two Danish practices—Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Dorte Mandrup Architects—create a new urban IKEA store, a budget hotel, and housing linked together by green space. Set to open in 2019, the area—which sits adjacent to Kalvebod Brygge, close to the railway lines that pass through the city core—will be master-planned by Dorte Mandrup while two striking high-rise residential towers, dubbed "Cacti", will be designed by BIG.
A new challenger has stepped into the ring of home solar batteries, and it’s a name you may recognize: global furniture retailer IKEA.
A competitor to Tesla’s now-available Powerwall home battery and solar roof system, IKEA’s home battery will be first sold in the UK, where owners of solar-powered homes can typically only sell excess energy produced back to the national grid at a loss. The battery pack will instead allow that power to be stored for later use, helping homeowners reduce their electricity bills by as much as 70 percent.
Picking up on the debate surrounding digitization in fabrication and its impact on traditional crafts, Copenhagen-based SPACE10, the future-living laboratory created by IKEA, recently invited three architects—Yuan Chieh Yang, Benas Burdulis, and Emil Froege—to explore the potentials of CNC milling for traditional craft techniques. The architects came up with three divergent yet equally innovative solutions to address the fundamental issue that plagues digital production: an apparent lack of a "human touch." In a Post-Fordist world increasingly dominated by customization, this investigation holds obvious importance for a company which deals primarily in mass-produced ready-to-assemble products; however, with its advocation for the infusion of dying classical craft techniques into the digital manufacturing process, the experiment could be meaningful for many other reasons.
Fresh off winning the “Design of the Year” for their refugee housing solution, the “Better Shelter,” IKEA is again making waves for a pioneering, flat pack solution to societal needs. Developed by the IKEA innovation lab Space10 alongside architects sine lindholm and mads-ulrik husum, the spherical “Growroom” is a DIY garden structure intended to help people “grow their own food much more locally in a beautiful and sustainable way.” And now, plans for the structure have been made available online for free via Space10’s open source platform, giving anyone the opportunity to build their own 3-dimensional garden.
Swedish mega-retailer IKEA is taking action to combat the destitute living conditions faced by Syrian refugees.
Although our digital age allows us to peruse the latest in fashion, furniture and leisure all digitally, sometimes, there’s nothing quite like mindlessly flipping through the pages of a catalogue. Yet, the digital world is quickly penetrating even the tangible pages of furniture magazines, such as IKEA’s latest 200+ million print copies which are replacing labor intensive sets with digital renditions of furniture layouts and color combinations.
As architects who are constantly bombarded with renderings and spend hours perfecting that chosen perspective, can we spot what’s real and what’s not in the catalgoue pages below? Does that glossy kitchen countertop or fluffy blue couch really exist? Or, did IKEA’s digital modelers work their magic and fool us with the renderings – a move that saves IKEA money and still maintains the desired effect.
More after the break.
Thanks Martín Bravo for the tip!