Okay, so it’s not called IKEAville, but, the Swedish super company has already begun work on building its first housing development in Britain, right beside the Olympic Park, just in time for the 2012 Olympics. The housing development is comprised of 1,200-homes in Strand East, built around canals by Inter Ikea, which is the company’s investment arm. The concept is said to be modeled after Venice, complete with moorings, a water-taxi service and a floating bar.
Harald Muller, who is the head of business development at Inter Ikea, stated that “it will be the newest and most interesting development in the whole area. The estate will be the antithesis of the converted athletes’ village, where it has been claimed properties are so close you can “spit from one balcony to another”.
The development will also be home to a 130ft-tall illuminated wooden tower which will also act as the gateway to the Olympic stadium and the Mayor’s “Hubble Bubble” 2012 observation tower, called the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
Almost half of these houses will be three-bedroom mews homes, all surrounded by courtyards and large public green spaces. Everyone will have underground parking, which will minimize noise pollution in the development and encourage the use of the transit system. The development will include a school, nursery and health and wellness facilities, a 350-bedrooom hotel, and 480,000 square feet of offices will also be built on the 26-acre site.
Costs for these homes have not yet been disclosed, but the developers insist that these eco-homes will be affordable. According to Mueller, this is just the beginning. “Our ambition is to be seen as one of the biggest development players in the U.K. in the coming years. We are able to invest huge sums of money — we are talking about billions instead of millions.”