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IKEA plans first-ever IKEA neighbourhood in East London

Nadine Bells
Shine On
April 10, 2012

Recently, an Oregon firm introduced the prefab 'active' home made entirely from IKEA products.

Now IKEA is making housing plans of its own. Introducing, the first-ever IKEA neighbourhood.

The 11-hectare community has been named "Strand East" and will be built on unused industrial land outside of East London, not far from the 2012 Olympics grounds.

"We are in keeping with the IKEA philosophy. We don't want to produce for the rich or the super-rich; we want to produce for the families, for the people," Harald Müller tells the Globe and Mail.

Related: A house made from entirely IKEA products

The bonus: residents will not have to assemble their own homes. ;)

"The houses will not require Allen keys to assemble. Meatballs in lingonberry sauce will not be served at the restaurants. And there will not, the company insists, be an IKEA store anywhere in or near the neighbourhood," the Globe and Mail's Doug Saunders writes.

Six thousand renters in 1,200 tiny Scandinavian-style homes and apartments will call the IKEA neighbourhood home. Offices, a hotel, carless streets, pedestrian walkways, surrounding waterways and eco-friendly initiatives are also set to enhance the affordable housing area.

Related: How to survive a trip to IKEA

TIME's Tim Newcomb writes that it is common place in Sweden and other non-English speaking countries for companies to build and own entire communities.

"If people can make money doing that in Sweden, why not England?," he says.

Buzzfeed's John Herrman agrees to a point.

"There is a precedent for this kind of thing — centrally managed communities aren't unusual in parts of Western Europe — but the concept of a neighborhood designed, controlled and managed by a single company, especially one with such a specific and overbearing aesthetic vision, is a little disconcerting,"

He fears getting lost in Stand East will feel like getting lost in an IKEA store, but on a much larger scale.

Would you want to live in a neighbourhood built by IKEA? For more, check out IKEA's manual for building a neighbourhood here.

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