Kengo Kuma completes terraced Starbucks wrapped around a copper cask

Kengo Kuma completes terraced Starbucks wrapped around a copper cask

1 Oct 2019 Materialization

The Reserve Roastery is a new type of Starbucks that combine bakery, bar, tea corner in addition to the café. The Tokyo cafe is the fifth of its kind after Seattle, Shanghai, Milan and New York. Kengo Kuma opted for engawa-typed terrace which bring the visitors at eye-level with the seasonal cherry blossoms. The four-story building is structured as a spiral around a 17-meters high copper silo for coffee.

Courtesy of Starbucks

The terrace eaves are finished in Yamato-bari style, which is a staggered arrangement of the (in this case cedar) wood panels. At the northern side of the building planters hang from 16.3 mm diameter wire rope as a buffer between the roaster and the adjacent apartment house.

Courtesy of Starbucks

Throughout the interior, designed by Starbucks chief design officer Liz Muller, local craftsmen and women were brought in to incorporate their expertise. A faceted wood tiled ceiling was inspired by the art of origami. The large 17-meter / 55-ft copper cask was built using the fun inclusive technique of tsuchime, where each person involved in the building of the Roastery got a chance to hammer his or her dent into the massive silo.

Courtesy of Starbucks

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Located in Tokyo’s vibrant and creative neighborhood of Nakameguro, the Roastery’s enchanting design was inspired by the famous cherry blossom trees lining the Meguro River. The building’s glass walls and terraced floors seamlessly fold into the fabric of the neighborhood, bringing visitors eye-level with the seasonal cherry blossoms and the river to reflect the natural beauty and sense of harmony found across Japan.

Courtesy of Starbucks

The Tokyo Roastery is the only Starbucks Roastery location designed in collaboration with a local architect from the ground up. The exterior was brought to life in collaboration with renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Envisioned by Liz Muller, Starbucks chief design officer and lead designer for all five Roasteries globally, the Roastery highlights the work of local craftsmen and women to create an enchanting destination for coffee exploration and discovery. The Tokyo Roastery merges traditional and modern design to deliver a unique and inspired experience across all four floors.

Courtesy of Starbucks

Upon entering the Roastery, customers are greeted by the world’s largest Starbucks Roastery coffee cask, four stories and more than 55 feet of blush-tinted copper adorned with hand-crafted copper cherry blossoms, which changes hues throughout the day in different lights. The expansive cask was built using the technique of tsuchime, a tradition of copper beating, where each person involved in the building of the Roastery was offered the chance to hammer a portion to create its texture and pattern. 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.

Courtesy of Starbucks

Throughout the Roastery, local craftsmen and women were brought together to incorporate their expertise and traditional craft into the design elements. The stunning wood-tiled ceiling was inspired by the art of origami. The light and airy space carries the light wood used on the exterior to the inside, giving the experience an enchanting aura. The wood, sourced locally, has been treated throughout with a traditional technique which prevents it from aging, ensuring the brightness is maintained inside and outside in the years to come.

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