Starbucks Opens New Store Inspired by the Live Music Capital of the World
For nearly 40 years, an eclectic range of artists have captivated viewers across the country from Austin City Limits Live, the longest running music television program, filmed under the bright lights of the historic Moody Theatre. This much-loved block of Austin, Texas is now also home to one of Starbucks newest stores. The warm, inviting space captures the city’s local history, artistic passion and whimsical spirit and serves as the latest example of how our stores are inspired by and a reflection of the communities we serve.
Informed by Austin’s early history as a timber outpost, back when the city was called Waterloo, the design team began by incorporating amber siding throughout the store. Charred wood siding was included in some areas, made in the ancient shou sugi ban tradition (milled and produced locally by Austin-based Delta Millworks) for its beauty, resistance, and performance while settee seating helped create a saloon-like space. All serve as a nod to the site’s previous history as a way station on a rail route.
In celebration of the Austin of “today,” and the community’s love for music and the arts, we added music-inspired details throughout the store like speaker paneling, microphone chandeliers and spotlight pendant lighting. To capture the unique sights and sounds of Austin through design, Starbucks design team also found inspiration in the Congress Avenue Bridge, where every night more than one million bats emerge from under the structure, a truly spectacular sight! Local artist Brian Bedford was commissioned for a bat flight painting to capture this moment on reclaimed wood, titled “Spring to Fall.”
At the heart of Starbucks is the commitment to serving the highest quality coffee, sourced in the most responsible way possible. This store reflects these ideals by being an exploration of coffee passion for customers and Starbucks partners (employees). Designers incorporated several details to tell the Starbucks coffee story, from a world map highlighting growing regions to art work inspired by coffee farms. The wall behind the main bar features chalk art depicting the coffee roast curve with coffee branches carved into the wood, along with a carefully curated display of coffee-themed art & artifacts. The store also offers Starbucks Reserve® coffees, a line of rare and exotic small batch single origin coffees that are only available for limited times at select stores. With a Clover® brewing system, customers at 3rd & Lavaca in Austin will discover new layers and dimensions within their coffee’s familiar aroma, flavor, body and acidity at a specially designed tasting table.
In addition to designing for the communities we serve, Starbucks stores offer a significant opportunity to make a responsible impact on our planet. As a pioneer in LEED retail standards, 3rd & Lavaca is built to LEED certification and includes energy efficient LED lighting, air conditioning and hand dryers. All paints, sealants, and adhesives used in the construction of this store are low in volatile organic compounds and non-toxic. Dual flush toilets and low flow faucets help reduce water use and a special area has been designated for bicycles to encourage partners and customers to ride their bikes to the store. Starbucks also worked with an artist to reuse plastic bags by weaving them into the coffee world map.
With 18 design studios around the world, Starbucks in-house design team continues to innovate and create local relevancy all while meeting the evolving needs of its customers around the world. To learn more about our stores and see the beautiful work of the global design team, visit our Starbucks Loves Store Design Pinterest page.
PHOTO CREDIT: Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA