Ralph Applebaum Associates

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Ikea Museum

Almhult, Sweden

IKEA Museum is a corporate visitor attraction that tells the story of how the entrepreneur Ingvar Kamprad started IKEA and, with his colleagues, decided to create a better everyday life for people everywhere.

RAA was appointed to work with the Inter IKEA Culture Centre to plan and design the main exhibition. With the client, RAA developed a narrative of the emergence of IKEA from its humble roots in the Swedish province of Småland to its current position as one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Working first with Wilkinson Eyre Architects and later Uulas Arkitekter AB, the RAA team mapped out a visitor journey through the original 1958 IKEA store, respectfully adapting it into a rewarding visitor experience.

The main exhibition at the IKEA Museum is divided into three sections: Our Roots, Our Story and Your Stories. In the Our Roots section, the visitor is given a closer look at everyday life in late 19th century Småland, Sweden. This is where the IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad started the IKEA business in 1943. Our Roots explores the society, living conditions, and spirit that prevailed, and fostered a young boy’s emerging business. Our Story examines the ideas, solutions, successes, and failures that have shaped the IKEA concept and continue to drive it forwards. In the Your Stories section, IKEA customers share their experiences and show the ways they use two of the most popular IKEA products. The IKEA Museum also includes a temporary exhibition, learning programs and facilities, a shop and a restaurant.

Size 75,000 square feet

Year 2016