The self-sufficient, plant-filled renewable home and living space is located within a 120-year old abandoned apartment complex in Szczecin, Poland. The first IKEA project of its kind, the Home of Tomorrow was created to raise awareness of the company’s environmentally friendly and sustainable-first initiatives. Research IKEA undertook estimates that up to 70% of the global population will live in cities or urban areas by 2050, which will only exacerbate existing climate issues. The Home of Tomorrow aims to combat this by showcasing sustainable and eco-friendly ways of living like composting food waste and making meat-free meals from vegetables and greens grown at home.
Each room within the green concept has its own focus and is organized spatially by function. There is a “Planning Space,” where visitors can ask IKEA employees questions about best practices in making their kitchen and house more sustainable; a “Creative Zone” where workshops around repurposing and modifying home appliances, furniture, and furnishings are held; and perhaps the central feature of the initiative is the soil-free Home Farm, which displays scalable urban farming solutions and offers a variety of edible algae, fungi, and other plants all grown using eco-friendly and sustainable aquaponic, hydroponic, and aeroponic methods designed to cut water use by up to 95% when compared to traditional farming. IKEA products including IVAR racks support the aquaponic systems, and IKEA’s KUGGIS containers connect to an aquarium. Classes are held in the kitchen where visitors can learn how to make zero-waste meals from the ingredients grown in the Home Farm.
IKEA used exclusively eco-friendly and sustainable materials like solid wood, formaldehyde-free plywood, glass, and recycled plastic when renovating the building that houses the Home of Tomorrow, and the concept itself has a renewable “metabolism,” meaning that almost all of its components and materials can be reused and recycled. The emphasis on self-sufficiency and consideration for the environment is geared to promote wellbeing for both people and the planet. IKEA wants the initiative to educate and inspire visitors to live in increasing harmony with nature by showing how a better home can support a better life, as well as bring awareness to the importance of living consciously and creating sustainable spaces and eco-friendly environments.
This article originally appeared in PSFK’s report, Promoting Wellness In Physical Environments.