IKEA to Build an Entire Neighbourhood In London
Before you start, all the jokes have been done. Yes, each neighbourhood will be put together with an allan key and take hours. Yes, you can only walk around it in one direction and you buy Swedish meatballs at the end.
But they are actually planning a 1,200 apartment village in East London, on 11ha of land. A company like Ikea entering the developer/designer field is a very interesting proposition. It brings back memories of attempted utopian, company master planned communities from the suburb of Pullman (built by the train carriage people in the USA) to Bournville in the UK developed by the Cadbury chocolate people and Port Sunlight in the UK that was founded by the soap manufacturer W. H. Lever.
I love the idea of a 'design led' companies like Ikea stepping into the planning/design field. They bring a whole new angle of efficiency that many land developers may just not be aware of. Ikea has decades of experience designing the minutia of each store, to maximise the user experience and maximise their own profit. I honestly think that their background could lead to some really interesting concepts being built in what will hopefully be a 'sustainable, liveable' and enjoyable community.
Read some more detail here, and check out the montages.
UPDATE: Check out even more info about this here, including videos and photos of the concept and construction.