IKEA Museum opens in Sweden as brand increases leisure focus

by Kim Megson | 29 Jun 2016

A new museum exploring the journey of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA opens this Thursday (30 June) on the site of the company’s first store in the town of Älmhult.

The IKEA Museum is housed within a 7,000sq m (75,300sq ft) building designed by Swedish architect Claes Knutson in the late 1950s. The building closed in 2012 and has been revamped by WilkinsonEyre and Uulas Arkitekter who restored the exteriors largely to their original modernist form following Knutson’s drawings.

Ralph Appelbaum Associates were appointed to plan the conceptual design of the main exhibition, together with the IKEA Museum creative team and Swedish design studio Form Us With Love.

The museum’s main exhibition showcases thousands of objects from IKEA’s archives, taking visitors on a trip through the company's history – from its foundation in 1943 by a 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad – and exploring its design processes, product development and company culture.

In addition to the main exhibition, there is a temporary exhibition imagining what life at home and in the kitchen will look like in the future. Other features include a restaurant, shop and educational facilities which will inspire students to embrace strong and simple design processes and to learn about entrepreneurship.

IKEA is positioning itself as a major leisure brand in addition to its retailing operations. The company already runs an IKEA Hotel in Älmhult, and in 2013 its subsidiary Inter Hospitality partnered with Marriott to open Moxy Hotels, an international budget hotel brand.

IKEA has also opened pop-up restaurants and cafes around the world and in 2014 it invited 150 customers to spend the night in its stores to indulge in an array of spa treatments.

IKEA Museum  Sweden  Almhult  architecture  WilkonsonEyre  Ingvar Kamprad 
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A new museum exploring the journey of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA opens this Thursday (30 June) on the site of the company’s first store in the town of Älmhult. The IKEA Museum is housed within a 7,000sq m (75,300sq ft) building designed by Swedish architect Claes Knutson in the late 1950s. The building closed in 2012 and has been revamped by WilkinsonEyre and Uulas Arkitekter who restored the exteriors largely
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The IKEA Museum is housed within a 7,000sq m building designed by Swedish architect Claes Knutson in the late 1950s / IKEA Museum
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