Southampton, UK

IKEA Southampton wave canopy


‘Wave’ canopy
A bespoke breathtaking 28 m high wave-form canopy undulates across the upper entrance of IKEA. This ambitious tensile structure shelters customers as they enter and exit the store from the adjacent multi-storey car par. Inspired by the ocean waves, this artistic canopy has become a landmark, attracting shoppers from near and far.

The Challenge

Drainage of rainwater was a key design element and a challenge. The offset wave profile, with the front profile 180 degrees out of phase with the back, allowed for more efficient control of rainwater run-off to the internal gutter system. The perimeter and cross-bracing structural framework was constructed from steel sections that is utilised as both a guttering and tensioning system for the fabric membrane.

The Solution

Measuring 14m wide by 72m long, with a surface area of 1,120m2, the iconic tensile fabric structure protects the high level entrance of the store from coastal rains and wind. In addition to the covered entrance, the series of travellators are also under the striking fabric canopy. Lighting has the structure and entrance glow with brilliance at night, serving as a beacon while highlighting the unique possibilities of building with fabric.



Fabric Type




Naizil PVC Type III

Black Architecture

Confluence PCM


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