Dorte Mandrup tops a new IKEA store in Copenhagen with a sprawling rooftop park

From Leviathans to LACK

Dorte Mandrup tops a new IKEA store in Copenhagen with a sprawling rooftop park

A new IKEA store in Copenhagen set to be completed in 2023 doubles as a local hang-out space complete with a lush rooftop park. (Courtesy Dorte Mandrup)

The eponymous Danish studio Dorte Mandrup has revealed the design of a new urban IKEA outpost planned for Copenhagen’s Vesterbro district that will feature a lushly planted public park on a section of its roof.

Spanning just under 500 feet, the rooftop oasis will function as what the firm calls a “green lounge” for a bustling, railway-adjacent area Denmark’s capital city that suffers from a notable dearth of public green spaces. Although lacking parkland, the area is a highly centralized and located near Copenhagen Central Station, the city’s inner harbor, and Kødbyen, a trendy erstwhile industrial area best known as Copenhagen’s Meatpacking District. (SPACE10, IKEA’s external innovation lab, is also headquartered here, alongside a number of restaurants, galleries, and startups.)

rendering of a store with a massive bike parking area and rooftop park
View of the front plaza at the planned IKEA city store in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro district. (Courtesy Dorte Mandrup)

“Vesterbro is a densely populated and active district of the city that only has a few green pockets and walkways available,” said Dorte Mandrup, the firm’s founder and creative director, in a statement. “With the new rooftop park, we want to give back a green lounge to the local community and create both intimate resting places and opportunities for spontaneous meetings. From the top of the roof, you have a beautiful undisturbed view over Vesterbro, the canal, and the inner city.”

Planted with a range of native grasses, shrubs, and trees providing habitat to an array of urban wildlife, the rooftop park will be lifted roughly 65 feet above the street and link to a new walking trail spanning from the southern part of the city to its inner core. Dorte Mandrup has also envisioned a (non-elevated) public plaza complete with ample bike parking and a cafe. From the plaza, visitors can either access the park or a new subterranean bus terminal that serves the highly public transit-accessible new store. While a majority of North American IKEA stores are located in the car-dependent exurbs of major cities to accommodate for plus-sized parking lots and the sprawling footprints of the stores themselves, the Vesterbro location is a new addition to the retailer’s growing “city store” format. While selling bookshelves, bed frames, and cutlery sets is, of course, the main function of the Vesterbro IKEA, it’s being positioned as a neighborhood social hub where locals can gather for a beverage or a stroll in the park without necessarily departing with merchandise in tow. (And if they do, there’s plenty of cargo bikes for hire.)

rendering of people relaxing in an elevated park at an ikea store
While commerce is the primary thrust of the new IKEA Copenhagen store, a rooftop park entices residents to come and hang out, whether they plan to shop or not. (Courtesy Dorte Mandrup)
rendering of pedestrians and cyclists arriving at an ikea store
(Courtesy Dorte Mandrup)

In addition to the rooftop park, the store’s greenery-clad facade is a notable feature of the project that references the textiles sold inside. “The facade draws inspiration from a white curtain motif,” elaborated Mandrup. “Flowing down from the edges of the rooftop park, the curtain is pulled aside a few places, revealing the displayed items inside. The curtain ends in a pedestal on street level where you can take a short rest in the midday sun in between the rippled folds.”

The park-topped new store, which is aiming for BREEAM Outstanding certification, is the latest project in a string of collaborations between Dorte Mandrup and the affordable (and now catalog-less) home furnishings retailer whose main design headquarters/ancestral home is located two hours from Copenhagen across the Øresund strait in Amhult, Sweden. Notable and recent non-IKEA projects for the firm include the Wadden Sea Centre in Esbjerg, Denmark; the Exile Museum Berlin, and The Whale, a cetacean-inspired attraction that will be constructed north of the Arctic Circle in the village of Andenes, Norway.

The new IKEA Copenhagen store is slated to open in 2023.