Global Store Development In-House Architects
Arthur Rubinfeld, President

U.S., The Netherlands, Japan

What started in 1971 as a small stand in downtown Seattle has evolved into a global enterprise. Today, Starbucks, a publicly traded company, has more than 17,000 stores in 58 countries, from Malaysia to Norway, and earned $11.7 billion in revenue during its last fiscal year. Its cultural contribution is most profound in the United States, where it popularized the Italian coffeehouse tradition yet gave it an American twist, offering gussied-up espresso drinks to stay or to go. A Starbucks pit stop is now a daily ritual for many.

The retailer's shops often share a uniform look. Still, Starbucks has always aimed to craft artful spaces that respond to their context and serve as gathering hubs, says architect Arthur Rubinfeld, president of global development. In recent years, the company has raised its design ambitions to venti-sized proportions, opening branches that generate considerable buzz for their distinct styles. Here, we feature four such examples, designed mostly by in-house teams.

First up: the company's maiden concept store in Europe. Located in the vault of a converted bank in Amsterdam, the expansive café contains areas for poetry readings and jam sessions, a wall covered in used bicycle tubes, and a dramatic ceiling installation made of wooden blocks. Other standout features include oak furnishings, Delft blue tiles, and a mural that pays tribute to the Dutch coffee trade. The architects were inspired by the history of the Netherlands and its contemporary role “as a creative capital,” says Liz Muller, director of global concept design.

Over in Japan, two equally striking facilities point toward Starbucks's growing commitment to singular architecture. In the city of Dazaifu, on a street leading to a shrine visited by 2 million people annually, sits a head-turning café by Kengo Kuma & Associates (the building's owner asked the coffee company to work with Kuma). To enliven the space, the architect inserted a weblike composition of thin, elongated wooden blocks into the empty shell. “I wanted to recreate the beauty of the Japanese wooden structure in the modern context,” says Kuma, adding that the organic material fits nicely with Starbucks's “comfortable” atmosphere.

Wood was also integral to the design of a freestanding store in a Fukuoka City park, but in a much different way. The quiet, low-slung building was clad in FSC-certified cedar and was “purposefully nestled into a grove of trees, to help it blend into the environment,” says architect John Harrison, a Starbucks design manager. The project boasts a bevy of sustainable elements, including on-site composting and an exterior shade screen. According to Harrison, it's Japan's first LEED-NC retail project. (Starbucks has pledged to earn LEED certification for all of its new stores.)

While foreign countries have proved fertile testing grounds, Starbucks's most adventurous project was conceived stateside. Located in Tukwila, Washington, “Reclamation Drive-Thru” is composed of four cargo containers and is meant to be transient (the landowner wanted a temporary facility). Beyond being environmentally responsible, the structure is “intended to be expressive and provocative,” says Anthony Perez, a senior concept design manager. “We've never done this before. It's created a lot of conversation.” With projects like this spurring dialogue and making headlines, who knows what the coffee superpower will brew up next.

Starbucks Global Store Development in-house architects
Arthur Rubinfeld, president; Kengo Kuma & Associates (Dazaifu, Japan)


Starbucks Coffee Company;
Manten Corporation with Starbucks
(Dazaifu, Japan)

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifutenmangu Omotesando

Location: 3-2-43 Zaifu, Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture

Completion Date: Nov 2011

Gross square footage: 210.03

Owner: Manten Corporation

2-24-8 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku
Tokyo, 107.0062 Japan

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Kengo Kuma , Nahoko Terakawa

Interior designer: KENGO KUMA & ASSOCIATES , Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd.

Engineer(s): Jun Sato Structural Engineers

Consultant(s):Junji Ito
Lighting: Isumi Okayasu Lighting Design

General contractor: Matsumoto-gumi Corporation

mobile 090-1775-4285

Hiroaki Saito , Kimio Suzuki

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
AutoCad,Rhinoceros, 3D MAX

Starbucks Ohori Park

Location: Fukuoka, Japan

Completion Date: May, 2010

Gross square footage: 1,730 s.f.

Total construction cost: 1.5 million dollar (1dollar = 82 yen)

Owner: Starbucks Coffee Company/Starbucks Coffee Japan

Starbucks Coffee Company/StarbucksCoffee Company Japan

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Shingo Saito (registered architect-Japan)
Hiroki Yoneyama
Mayu Takashima
Takako Katsuma
Hiroshi Noguchi
Masaru Aitani
Yoshihide Okada
Tadashi Tosaka
Shimizu Tsunehiro
Amy Washio
John Harrison, AIA (architect)
Fulton (Tony) Gale, FAIA (Starbucks corporate architect)

Interior designer: Starbucks Coffee Company/Starbucks Coffee Japan

Consultant(s): Arup Japan-LEED

Consultants/Commissioning Agent: Kentaro Suga, YukiyoKikuchi

General contractor: Matsumoto-gumi corporation

Shingo Saito
Yoshiteru Baba

Starbucks Reclamation DT

Location: Tukwila, WA

Completion Date: 12/2011

Gross square footage: 448

Total construction cost: Withheld

Owner: Starbucks Coffee Company

Starbucks Coffee Company, 2401 Utah Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Arthur Rubinfeld-President Global Development
Anthony Perez (licensed architect)
Tom Ackerman-Director of Creative Programs
Harmony Cooper-Architectural Specialist
Scot Hearl-Industrial Designer Specialist
Lionel Sussman-Director Global Concepts
Ryan Slemons-Real Estate, Concepts
Eric Hopp-Construction Manager
Stephen Gibson, AIA-High Performance Building Team

Note: all individuals listed above are employees of Starbucks Coffee Company

Architect of record: Fulton (Tony) Gale, FAIA-Starbucks Corporate Architect

Civil: David Evans Associates

MEP: Rensch Engineering

General contractor: DB Contractors-Jake Hatfield, Project Manager-Jeremy Habelman, Superintendent

Tom Ackerman
Starbucks Coffee Company
(206) 318-2112

CAD system, project management, or other software used: Revitt


Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifutenmangu Omotesando

Exterior cladding
Metal Panels: steel plate –hot dip galvanizing phosphate finish

Metal/glass curtain wall: tempered glass t15

Wood: wood joinery; cedar 60*60 (ETO KOBO)

Moisture barrier: water proof membrane

Built-up roofing: galvalume; aluminum-zing alloy-coated steel sheet

Metal: galvalume; aluminum-zing alloy-coated steel sheet

Metal frame: aluminum frame, steel frame

Glass: wire flass t10(North), tempered glass t15(South)  (ASAHI GLASS)

Skylights: Low-e FL6+A6+FW6.8 (Ryoko co.,ltd.)

Entrances: Auto door; tempered glass t5 (NABCO)

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings: cement wood chip board t15

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: harvest panel (AD WORLD,TIME & STYLE)

Wall coverings: cement wood chip board t20

Reception furniture: (TIME & STYLE)

Fixed seating: (TIME & STYLE)

Chairs: (TIME & STYLE)

Tables: (TIME & STYLE)

Upholstery: (TIME & STYLE)

Interior ambient lighting: LED downlight, indirect lighting LED line (DAIKO)

Downlights: LED downlight (DAIKO)

Task lighting: (DAIKO)

Exterior: LED downlight ,indirect lighting LED line (DAIKO)

Starbucks Ohori Park

Structural system
Steel frame structure

Exterior cladding
Wood: FSC certified Cedar from Kyushu island

Other: Asphalt roofing

Metal frame: Aluminum sash / YKK

Glass: High insulation glass / Nippon steel glass

Entrances: Glass Auto door

Other doors: Glass Hinged door

Interior finishes
Paints and stains: Kansai paint

Floor and wall tile: Mortar floor

Raised flooring: Bamboo flooring

Panasonic and Endo

Mitsubishi Electric

Starbucks Reclamation DT

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
Shipping Containers: Conglobal-contact: Doug DeVries

Insulation: Demilec Heatlok (soy based closed cell foam)