Kengo Kuma has designed the new building of Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Nakameguro, Tokyo, which is one of only five in the world. The project is not just the brand’s typical coffee shop, but a whole spectacle which offers a premium experience and an opportunity to be tried out rare coffee bevarages.
The four-storey building is very similar to Japan’s landscape and traditional crafts.
The balcony terraces are formed by timber fins jutting out from the facade.
Responsible for the interior fit-out was Liz Muller, chief design officer at Starbucks.
In the open-plan ground floor there are dining tables, chairs and also a small area selling Starbucks merchandise and bakery serving Italian food like focaccia and cornetti. The ceiling is lined with triangular blocks of stripped wood, which look like origami.
The first floor is intended for Japanease teas.
The second one is a cocktail bar Arriviamo, which serves alcohol-infused tipples like espresso martinis.
On the fourth floor is sited a lounge named Amu, which means in Japanese “knit together”. It can be used for community events. This level will also be used as a training space.
The focal point in the interior space is a huge 14-meter-high copper coffee-bean cask, which anchors the entrance of the venue, extending upwards through the building’s four floors. The cylindrical volume has a mottled surface created by in a process called “tsuchime” which sees a small hammer create a pattern of indentations.
Copper “cherry blossom flowers” dangle directly in front of the cask on fine pieces of string, so they appear to be floating in midair.
Kengu Kuma has worked before with the brand on other Starbucks branches. In 2018 he has stacked 29 recycled shipping containers to make a Starbucks coffee shop alongside a shopping centre in Hualien, Taiwan.
Photo by Kentaro Matsumoto