Swedish studio Form Us With Love is behind three fun spaces at a new museum dedicated to the furniture giant and its iconic products.
The Poäng armchair, the Billy bookcase, the Jäll laundry bag: Ikea’s flat-pack pieces with funny, often umlaut-accented names now have a home befitting their status as pop-culture icons. Newly opened in the town of Älmhult, Sweden, the Ikea Museum gathers the brand’s most enduring artifacts into the same building as founder Ingvar Kamprad’s first store, redesigned by a team from Ikea together with WilkinsonEyre and Uulas Arkitekter.
The Stockholm design studio Form Us With Love conceptualized the three most playful spaces at the Ikea Museum – the Introductory Wall, the Democratic Design Gallery and the Interactive Ball Room – tying everything together with poplar oriented strand board, a humble construction staple elevated, here, to a featured material. The Introductory Wall instantly communicates the brand’s prolificacy, presenting dozens of products in a colour gradient from peacock-blue Trones shoe storage to black Bumerang hangers.
“We felt the first room should project what Ikea is all about, without feeling daunting,” explains John Löfgren, co-founder and creative director of FUWL. “It should be powerful and inspirational; a mix of well-known essential objects and elements of surprise.”
In the Democratic Design Gallery, material swatches and Ikea offerings are arranged on an OSB plinth under suspended paper lights, showcasing the design process; panels that hang from the ceiling also display images of the brand’s products.
And in the interior’s most playful gesture, FUWL installed a transparent polycarbonate tube that spirals through the four-storey central atrium. Museum goers collect a ball as they enter and, on reaching the end of the exhibition at the top floor, send it tumbling down to the ground-level children’s museum. This feature energizes the circulation spaces and links the experience to meandering through an Ikea store, with its kid-friendly ball pit – as quintessential an Ikea activity as assembling a Billy bookcase.