Students discover Ayres Hall built by IKEA


Sewanee’s Ayres Hall. Photo courtesy of

By Luke Williamson
Executive Staff

Students recently discovered who designed and built Ayres Hall during the summer of 2016: IKEA. Some students have even speculated IKEA may be responsible for the newly built theme houses on campus as well.

Conspiracy theories were confirmed when a group of freshmen students discovered the iconic IKEA logo inscribed on stones at the base of the fireplace in the common room of Ayres Hall. Upon further investigation, stickers with the Swedish word “ömtålig” were found affixed to trim and tile throughout the building.

Just like any other IKEA product, which are traditionally given Swedish names despite IKEA’s global consumer market, Ayres Hall seemingly boasts its own Swedish name—ömtålig. Or, at least, that’s what many students have contended since the discovery.

“It just makes sense,” began Jane Ryobi (C’21). “From what upperclassmen have told me, Ayres was built in three months. How could a building this big have been built so quickly? The only possible answer is IKEA.”

Following what students have dubbed the “revelatory fireplace stone” discovery, various students have come forward with testimonies regarding IKEA’s presence on campus during the summer of 2016.

“I was on work study during the summer of 2016, and I can confirm that Ayres Hall was built by IKEA,” stated Timothy Hammer (C’18). “I remember being really confused when a cardboard box the size of Iceland materialized on Alabama Avenue, but now it all makes sense. It was just the IKEA’s classic flat packaging strategy—pieces waiting to be assembled!”

Snarky students have been circulating rumors that Ayres Hall is indeed held together only by IKEA’s iconic wooden pegs and that the pieces of furniture in the common rooms are, in fact, simply upholstered concrete blocks.

William DeWalt (C’19) told The Purple that IKEA’s PR team neglected to respond to his enthusiastic pestering on both Instagram and Twitter with questions about the validity of these claims, an undertaking he shouldered of his own accord.

“Sewanee is too name-brand to be working with a company like IKEA,” noted Susy Pliers (C’20). “The 17 lake houses that my daddy owns were all built with quality in mind and without IKEA. Sewanee should do the same!” she exclaimed.