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How A Japanese Architect Interprets Starbucks

A new location in Tokyo tests whether a localized interior design better represents the brand.

Dave Pinter
Dave Pinter on February 22, 2012. @DavePinter

A newly opened Starbucks location in Fukuoka challenges the brands’ ubiquitous coffee shop interior decor. Frame Magazine reports that the design is the work of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who wanted to represent localized characteristics in the project. The dominating the interior are interlaced wooden beams which both reflect traditional Japanese woodworking and play a functional role in adding structural support to the ceiling. The use of wood also aims to compliment a nearby shrine.

The beams are arranged in a pattern which suggest the shape of branches of a tree. Kuma wanted Starbucks to look as though it was ‘nesting’ within an environment. The beams are also designed in such a way that the whole structure can be disassembled and reinstalled in another location.

Starbucks Coffee

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Dave Pinter is a senior editor at PSFK and focuses on automotive, design and retail news plus NYC culture. Dave is also a New York based concept designer.

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