Hot on the heels of its lavish breakthrough Milan store, Starbucks has opened yet another striking and innovatively-designed coffee house. However, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma's design associates an entirely different mood with the company's coffee beverages.
Starbucks Taiwan the company’s first location in the Asia Pacific, consists of 29 white shipping containers, shifted and stacked in a grid-like formation. Within the containers’ 3,444 sqft (320 sqm) of space are a variety of intimate and comfortable spaces. A drive-thru is also incorporated into the design to maximize the store’s convenience to its customers.
Kengo Kuma’s vision follows a current trend in Starbucks’ store designs as the company has opened over 40 coffee locations in structures that utilize a shipping container as a fundamental building block.
At a glance, the container structure looks impenetrable, but Kuma’s design utilizes a series of skylights and single pane windows to allow natural light into the structure, transforming the density and darkness of a shipping container into a pleasant habitable space to enjoy a Starbucks beverage.
The distinct placement of the containers for the Kuma design was inspired by the Chinese bucket arch and the leaves and branches of a coffee tree. The bucket arch represents a highly organized architecture structure of stacked beams, while the coffee tree represents the natural order of organic foliage. Kuma also designed Japan’s Fukuoka Starbucks store and the highly anticipated Starbucks Reserve Roastery opening soon in Tokyo.
Utilizing shipping containers has become a common architectural trend, typically used as a statement to highlight the importance of reducing and reusing industrial waste and materials. This project is no different. As part of Starbucks’ renewed commitment to sustainable building, the storage container designs can occupy sites that may not be able to accommodate a traditional building due to the terrain or spatial limitations.
Weigh up the pros and cons of shipping container architecture from our previous coverage of the typology here.
News via: Starbucks