doors are open to the largest starbucks in the world as the latest reserve roastery is unveiled in the nakameguro neighborhood of tokyoit’s also the first to be designed in collaboration with a local architect from the ground up, featuring a lightwood exterior brought to life by japanese architect kengo kuma.

images courtesy of starbucks

 

 

starbucks intends to create an immersive coffee experience, following the other four reserve roasteries which have opened globally over the past five years as an example. upon entering an open floor plan guides customers through the art of roasting, brewing and hand-crafting beverages. meanwhile, the design team have been careful to incorporate local tradition. 

 

 

starbucks spoke to local craftsmen and women to realise the interior design, which carries the light wood use on the exterior to the inside. a light ceiling is made up of geometric tiles inspired by the art of origami. the wood, sourced locally, has been treated with a traditional technique which prevents it from ageing. 

 

 

the design was inspired by cherry blossoms lining the nearby meguro river, mirrored several times throughout the space. thanks to glass walls and terraced floors which fold into the fabric of the neighborhood, customers will be able to gaze at the seasonal trees when they are in bloom. inside, copper cherry blossoms decorate the world’s largest starbucks roastery coffee cask, a 55-foot barrel (nearly 17 meters) which permeates all four floors.

 

 

the cask’s unique color is balanced against the light wood which has been carried into the interior to give the store a brightness found throughout traditional japanese architecture. it was built using a tradition of copper beating known as tsuchime, where each person involved in the building of the roastery was offered the chance to hammer a portion to create its texture and pattern.

 

 

at 32,000-square-feet, the four-story ‘fully immersive’ experience overtakes the shanghai roastery as the world’s largest. an airy staircase leads to the second floor, where customers will be transported into the tradition of japanese tea at the world’s largest teavana bar. on the terraced third floor is starbucks japan’s first cocktail bar, arriviamo – a product of its italian debut. the menu will feature coffee and tea-inspired cocktails including the nakameguro sspresso martini.

 

 

finally, the fourth floor is home to the ‘amu inspiration lounge’, inspired by the concept of ‘amu’ which means ‘to knit together’ in japanese. the space intends to serve as a platform for social impact conversations, inviting change-makers and creative thinkers from across japan. the first event in april will celebrate the role of women leaders in japan.

 

 

kengo kuma’s involvement with starbucks continues a string of collaborations with the coffee giant. most recently, kuma designed starbucks’ first store in the asian pacific. built from 29 used shipping containers. see designboom’s archive of starbucks articles here.

 

project info

company: starbucks

architect: kengo kuma

project: starbucks reserve roastery, tokyo

location: tokyo

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