Ikea building and renting an entire neighbourhood in London
Ikea wants to build you a house. Not a pine bookcase, not a nice little side table, not a quirkily colourful kitchen implement -- an entire house. The Swedish furniture company is building and renting out an entire neighbourhood of homes in London.
No, really. The Ikea neighbourhood -- Ikeahood? Ikeatown? -- is to be located in east London, near the Olympic site. It will be named Strand East and filled with families and leafy pedestrian boulevards.
The 11-hectare site will be criss-crossed by car-free streets, lined with five-storey townhouses, each backed by a mews of two-storey homes and a couple of 11-storey apartment blocks. There'll be 1,200 homes in total, nearly half of which are aimed at families, and all of which are for rental.
Offices and hotels round out the development, with a riverside park and communal courtyard gardens for when the weather's suitably balmy. Betting shops and other such unpleasantness will be banned. Whether newsagents will only be allowed to stock The Guardian and Wired is unknown as yet.
Strand East will be built in 2013 amid the decrepit canals and derelict docklands of East London, not far from the area taken over by the fast-approaching Olympics. Cars will be hidden away in an underground car park, and it'll be powered by a hydroelectric plant, with waste carried away by underground suction tunnels.
Now, I used to live in Stratford, and while I can confirm it is technically East of the Strand, the name is a bit on the misleading side. It does sound nice, if bland -- although I like the sound of a hydroelectric plant and suction tunnels. Would you live in an Ikea house? Furnish me with your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Building. Ikea. Rabbit. Oh, that's typical -- you get to the end and there's always a few bits left over.