Kengo Kuma is famous for his fascination with the most rudimentary of all building materials — the Kapla-like wooden block. As such, he utilized these 6 cm (or 2.36 inch) square blocks to create one of the world’s most idiosyncratic Starbucks interiors, located in Tokyo, Japan. Check out his Tokyo Starbucks design below.
The reason behind his design that mimics the branches of a forest? The neighborhood where this Starbucks is located is home to Dazaifu Tenmagu, a shrine dedicated to a local Japanese deity. As a result, Kuma was careful not to disrupt the tone of the neighborhood and used his inspiration from traditional carpentry to help the cafe blend in to its surroundings.
Since Kuma wanted this Starbucks location to fit into the streetscape of the traditional Japanese neighborhood…
…he made use of the most elementary of all building materials…
…to intersect in an oblique manner to suggest intersecting branches in a forest…
…which has resulted in a unique Starbucks interior design.
The 6 cm blocks also provided a functional role, as it was suspended from the ceiling as support.
And fun fact: the materials he used are also recyclable, which means a green and beautiful cafe location!
What do you think of this Tokyo Starbucks design? Comment below!