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IKEA Parking Structure

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After the 2000 opening of IKEA's Emeryville location, sales far exceeded expectations. The location's potential was hampered only by its limited parking. Needing to quickly eliminate this barrier to growth, the international retailer chose to go design/build. IKEA selected the Watry/DPR design build team, which created brand and site continuity by incorporating the retailer's unique style and store architecture into the adjacent parking structure. However, most importantly they solved IKEA's parking problem quickly. The project was designed in 3 months and constructed in 7.

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To create synergy between the two structures, the main focal point ... the elevator, has a curved facade that mimics the store's facade. Speed ramps were designed to get customers in and out quickly and enable cars to rapidly locate available parking stalls while distributing cars evenly to all levels. The result eliminates the traffic congestion caused by lengthy parking queues. Special attention was paid to pedestrian flow and safety.

The Watry team developed sweeping walkways that enable customers to exit their cars and proceed directly to the store's main entrance. These same walkways architecturally complement the structure's focal point. By varying the location of the columns, lightwells were created to capture natural light, as well as provide customers additional points of reference for wayfinding. Since the building is approximately the same size as the store itself, landscaping was used to soften its mass and focus attention back on the store.

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