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Brief Published: 7 Mar 2012

Starbucks Laboratory Concept Store


US coffee shop giant Starbucks has opened a new hyper-local concept store with stunning sustainable interiors inside a former bank in Amsterdam.

The Starbucks Laboratory Concept Store aims to maximise the use of local resources – from renovating the historic building, to employing the talents of local craftsmen. The 430 sq m space, which is set underground in the old vaults of the bank, has been designed by Dutch-born Starbucks concept design director Liz Muller to reflect Amsterdam’s reputation as a progressive and experimental city.

Starbucks employed more than 35 local artists and craftsmen to construct the quirky sustainable interiors, which incorporate a series of decorative nods to the location. These include Delft tiles, walls clad in bicycle inner tubes, wooden gingerbread biscuit moulds, and a Delftware-inspired mural, highlighting the Netherlands’ rich historical links with coffee exportation. See Stylus’ report Upcycled Spaces for more examples of how simple materials can be repurposed to create spaces that are more than the sum of their parts.

The store will function as a test bed for innovative coffee brewing techniques in what Starbucks describes as a “Slow Coffee Theatre”. It will also sell exclusive coffee not available anywhere else in Europe, and fresh food from the in-store bakery.