Sustainable Starbucks Taiwan Uses Recycled Cargo Containers
Spanning two stories high in its area of 320 square meters, Starbucks Coffee has recently made its move for sustainability through its first container store located in Hualien City, Taiwan. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (who also designed the stunningly wooden Starbucks Fukuoka and the upcoming Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Tokyo), Starbucks Taiwan was built solely from 29 recycled shipping containers. Considered a first and a mother concept to the popular chain’s wide range of stores, the store connects itself to coffee enthusiasts who are ecstatic over zero-waste lifestyles and sustainable spaces made from recycled materials.
The Hualien branch is part of “Starbucks Greener Stores”, the current campaign and commitment of the coffee company for the environment. Aside from the interesting store build and make-up, Starbucks Taiwan also has drive-thru – perfect for on-the-go customers and savvy tourists.
The store was Kuma’s first chance to use shipping containers for his designs. The white, geometric stack created a tall, lofty, and towering café, enabling sunlight to relaxingly seep and permeate the shop’s interiors. The murals of the exteriors, on the other hand, feature a design inculcating the vibrancy of Hualien culture. Highlighting the colorful coffea, or coffee trees, the rich, multicolored foliage is also decorated with the symbolic arch prevalent in Chinese culture and architecture.
The shop’s interiors, on the other hand, delves more into the cultural essentials of Hualien. Warm-toned and lumber-decorated, architect Kuma’s store design communicates bringing enthusiasts and coffee drinkers together over good coffee. The seating areas are comfortable and cozy – with ambient sunlight as adornment to natural lighting. The towering height of the stacked containers also provides coffee-sippers a nice view of mountain ranges on one end. Warm, sunny, and pleasant, the sustainable Starbucks store in Hualien captures and evokes an enthusiastic disposition to life.
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The cargo containers’ walkways, moreover, features low level tables and chairs – perfect for hangout sessions in the afternoons. Different from the usual cafés that are characterized by working professionals and busy reviewers, the containers’ interior encourage talk and relaxation. The wall murals inside narrate and share coffee stories through the use of vividly expressive graphics.
The container café in Hualien City, Taiwan, is one of the many sustainable shops under the Starbucks Greener Stores campaign. Now clearly expanding to Asia, the campaign currently erected 45 pre-fabricated modular stores in the United States. Aimed to reduce harmful environmental footprints, there will surely be more stores to come from the chain, this time in less crowded, greener locations.
The world is slowly but surely taking a step towards getting greener and becoming more sustainable. To leave less footprints and to establish better development for the environment, sustainable and eco-friendly interior design is not just a trend. It is transforming ways of living and styles of life.
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