Decoding Design

In Tokyo, a Starbucks is inspired by traditional Japanese carpentry

Posting in Architecture

A Japanese firm reconsidered the classic Starbucks design to respect the history of a neighborhood.

Starbucks is a global brand, whose products and appearance maintain at least relative consistency all over the world. However, sometimes world domination means respecting the culture that you enter.

For a Starbucks going up on the street that leads up to the Dazaifu Tenmagu shine. Tokyo-based architecture firm Kengo Kuma and Associates decided to do something different with the store design to pay homage to the surroundings, and to respect the sanctity of the grounds.

The design, in effect, alters the facade of the shop, while still holding up the brand identity of the company. The idea of the design comes from traditional carpentry-- small square wooden blocks were connected together to create a 3D pattern that reaches up the walls and to the ceiling.

The wood starts at the back of the store and moves throughout the space until it juts out the front glass windows, which is set back from the street to allow for outdoor seating.

More photos below:

[Knstrct]
Photos: Kengo Kuma

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure