Not Your Average Starbucks by Kengo Kuma & Associates
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If you’ve been in one Starbucks, you’ve been in them all…. or so I used to think, before I saw this one designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates. Gone are the generic interiors that you find in most of the empire’s coffee shops and instead you’ll find a very cool, and peaceful aesthetic at this location that sits close to the Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine in the Fukuoka Prefecture of Japan.

The shrine is one of the most visited in Japan with over 2 million visitors a year and since the Starbucks is on the path to the shrine, it was important to fit in with the other traditional buildings on the route.

There is a homey feel overall, and with the repetitive use of thin wood sticks, about 2,000 in all, it creates a cohesive, cave-like space that people are drawn to.

The natural wood is woven diagonally and starts on the walls and carries over onto the ceilings and it continues out the facade of the shop.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.