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Starbucks opens store made out of shipping containers

Starbucks has gone modular in Taiwan.

Starbucks Taiwan opened its first store in Asia Pacific built from recycled shipping containers. The new outpost is in eastern Taiwan, in Hualien Bay Mall, in Hualien City

Starbucks recycled 29 used shipping containers to form the structure of the store, which is approximately 3,200 sq. ft. and two stories tall. The exterior design was brought to life by famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who is also the exterior architect for the upcoming Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Tokyo. This is the first time Kuma has used shipping containers for his designs, and he was inspired by the foliage of coffee trees combined with the traditional Chinese bucket arch. The stacking of the containers created a much taller structure and provides natural sunlight through the various skylights found throughout the structure.

The interior of the geometric space features a tribute to the culture of Hualien, with a brightly colored wall mural that represents the aboriginal Amis peoples with deep heritage in the city. The containers are fashioned to create warm and comfortable seating areas. From one end of the container, customers can enjoy views of the mountain range. The other end is decorated with graphics that tell coffee stories.

In the United States, Starbucks has opened 45 of pre-fabricated modular stores, built off-site prior to delivery and installation, creating an opportunity for the company to extend into sites not designed for traditional store locations while minimizing the environmental footprint generally associated with new buildings. The formats also allow Starbucks to reuse reclaimed materials throughout the design.

Starbucks is committed to building sustainable stores and recently announced the “Starbucks Greener Stores,” which will be a framework to design, build and operate sustainable stores around the world. Today, this store joins a suite of Starbucks locations built from shipping containers.
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