Wildhomes: Artists create habitats for city wildlife from upcycled IKEA products

London-based artists have created a series of habitats for wildlife – which will house local birds, bats and insects in a Greenwich park – by upcycling IKEA products.

To mark the launch of IKEA’s new sustainable store in South London, the flat-pack retailer teamed up with artists including Hattie Newman, Adam Furman and Supermundane to transform chairs, tables and kitchen worktops into liveable spaces for animals. In line with the Greenwich store’s sustainable ethos, the animal habitats are made from repurposed IKEA furniture.

Studio Weave’s Je Ahn created a home to provide extra warmth for bats looking to roost from old IKEA Kvistbro metal tables, while Supermundane designed a colourful bird box from an IKEA Industriell shelving unit.

Other wild homes include Adam Furman’s Bughattan – a nest for solitary bees and wasps designed in a totem pole-like structure, which was made using old IKEA Ekbacken and Hammarp worktops, and Hattie Newman’s “Brazilian-style” bee village that was once Burvik side tables.

The Greenwich store has donated the “wildhomes” to Sutcliffe Park in Eltham, where the community team will manage and maintain them for the long-term.

IKEA, which has come under criticism for not doing enough for sustainability, opened its sustainability-focused store in February. It is aiming to achieve a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ accreditation by incorporating a number of green technologies, including solar panels and rainwater harvesting, and has been designed to promote healthy and sustainable living. It also offers a community garden, bike courier services and lifestyle workshops.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com

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