1973 saw the opening of the first branch of IKEA outside Scandinavia in Spreitenbach. At the same time, Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA, created the Ikea Foundation Switzerland. With this foundation, he wanted to encourage and support innovative thinking and appropriate solutions to tasks in creative sectors. The Ikea Foundation Switzerland has remained committed to this objective ever since.
Ingvar Kamprad (1926 – 2018)
Ingvar Kamprad, founder of the Ikea Foundation Switzerland, was born in 1926 on the Elmtaryd farm near Agunnaryd in Småland in southern Sweden.
Following a carpentry apprenticeship, he founded the IKEA company in 1943, at the age of just 17. He initially sold various consumables such as matches, ballpoint pens, tablecloths and nylon tights. In 1947, he expanded to add furniture to his range, which he sold predominantly to farmers in the province of Småland by mail-order for the purposes of keeping costs low. He concentrated fully on mail-order furniture from 1952.
He opened the first IKEA furniture store in 1958 in Älmhult and the first furniture store abroad in 1963 in Oslo. The first furniture store outside of Scandinavia was opened in 1973 in Spreitenbach (Switzerland). Today there are more than 300 furniture stores in 26 countries across the world (as at August 2014).
In 1974, Ingvar Kamprad moved to Switzerland to settle down with his wife Margaretha in Epalinges by Lake Geneva. Following the death of Margaretha in 2011, he returned to Sweden, near Älmhult, in August 2013. Three children resulted from his marriage to Margaretha: Peter, Jonas and Mathias Kamprad.
Ingvar Kamprad died on 27 January 2018 at the age of 91 years after a brief illness in his home in Älmhult. In the Ikea Foundation Switzerland, the spirit of his life’s work will act as a claim and inspiration beyond his death.
- Christophe Marchand, President, Designer, Zurich
- David Affentranger, IKEA Services B.V., Malmö
- Leonhard Fünfschilling, Architect, Zurich
- Luzius R. Huber, Qualified Architect ETH/SIA, Küsnacht
- Simona Scarpaleggia, CEO IKEA AG Switzerland, Spreitenbach
- Dr. Alfred Wiederkehr, Lawyer, Zurich
- Raphael Rossel, Designer, Dulliken
The foundation board decides on the grant applications during three meetings per year. At present, an annual budget of CHF 600,000 is available for foundation grants. The Ikea Foundation Switzerland endorses between 50 and 60 applications per year.
Media representatives should direct their enquiries to
Communication Manager Corporate Communications,
IKEA Services B.V.
Managing Director of the Ikea Foundation Switzerland
Raffinerie AG für Gestaltung