In Poland’s greenest city, IKEA has transformed a 120-year-old apartment building into the Home of Tomorrow—an experimental, plant-filled showcase of sustainable design solutions that aims to redefine the way we live at home.
The 2,700-square-foot concept home was created in response to looming global issues including climate change, dwindling natural resources, and indoor air quality—a growing concern for those spending more time indoors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project was conceived by Gustaw Jakubowski, Marta Samsonov, Katarzyna Grzeszczak, Ewelina Sośniak, and Mateusz Książek, and it was executed by Joanna Jurga, Paulina Grabowska, and Justyna Puchalska.
The global furniture powerhouse gave the designers "a blank page to explore how we want the future, or our living habitat, to look and function," reads a press statement. "The Home of Tomorrow has a renewable metabolism—almost all of its components and materials can be reused and recycled."
The Home of Tomorrow is the first IKEA project of its kind, and it was launched in part to raise awareness of the company’s eco-friendly initiatives ahead of its first store in Szczecin, scheduled to open in early 2021. Until then, the temporary Home of Tomorrow will host workshops and a town hall where residents can work with local authorities to discuss waste management solutions.
The rooms are organized by function—from a Home Farm that displays scalable urban farming solutions to a Creative Zone where experienced carpenters lead workshops on repurposing and modifying home appliances and furnishings.
To outfit the space, the design team combined existing elements from the historic building with secondhand finds and new contemporary IKEA furnishings. Only eco-friendly materials were used in the renovation process, such as solid wood, formaldehyde-free plywood, glass, and recycled plastic.
"It shows how to create the healthiest interior possible," says IKEA in a statement. "These days, we spend most of our time indoors, which has become even more apparent during the coronavirus pandemic."
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The designers worked in close collaboration with local activists, residents, and students to shape the home. Students from the local Academy of Arts "hacked" IKEA projects to give them new functionality.
"Working with students made it possible to engage local residents in the creation of this space," says designer Joanna Jurga. "We wanted this place to be made by them and for them."
The Home of Tomorrow is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown Szczecin, and it will operate until the opening of the new IKEA store in 2021. At that point, the fully equipped space will be handed over to the city of Szczecin, which will continue the project under a new name: the "Scandinavian House."
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