A Winning Combination of Starbucks Coffee and Store Design in Asia
Two of the China/Asia Pacific region’s latest store openings showcase Starbucks store design capabilities. These stores in Taiwan and Hong Kong use a mix of historic and new design elements to enhance the coffee experience.
Forging the Past with the Present
The Bangka district is one of the oldest in Taipei and the site of a Starbucks location that opened last month. The store is on the main floor of a traditional-style home built for a local wealthy family - the Lin family clan - in 1932. The Lin residence has a design that combines architectural influences from the east and west. It was recently preserved and is a local landmark that reveals the history of Bangka.
“The concept was to develop a coffee house where the story of the building’s history and the heritage of the Starbucks brand connect to create a harmonious environment,” said Michael Izon, director of Store Design, Starbucks China/Asia Pacific. “We wanted the historical elements of the building to be revealed and discovered by anyone who visits the store.”
The Bangka store’s coffee bar was designed so that the house’s original windows and doors are revealed through protective glass. The experiential bar showcases the ritual of the Siphon and Pour Over brewing methods.
Coffee bean patterns stenciled on columns in the store were inspired by the building’s original wallpaper that still exists in the upper floors of the residence that houses a museum. Delicate embroidery art, on display in the museum, was created by one of the daughters of the Lin family. In honor of this artwork, Starbucks commissioned celebrated Taiwanese embroidery artist, Lily Huang, to craft an anniversary Starbucks Siren that hangs in the store. This artwork celebrates the local history and culture in Taipei and commemorates the 18th Anniversary of Starbucks Taiwan.
“Starbucks is proud to be part of the local communities in which we operate and we have a deep respect for Taiwan’s cultural and historical heritage,” said John Hsu, president of Starbucks Taiwan. "Bangka is one of several stores where we have taken great care to respect the building’s origins while offering customers a beautiful environment where they can enjoy a great cup of coffee.”
The Art of Coffee
Starbucks Cityplaza store in one of Hong Kong’s busiest malls provides customers with an enriched coffee experience. In addition to Starbucks® Reserve coffees, the store is now offering Starbucks® Cold Brew for the first time in Hong Kong. Starbucks Coffee Masters will handcraft coffee using five brewing methods including Cold Brew, Siphon, Pour Over, French Press and Black Eagle.
“Starbucks has been committed to providing customers with an exceptional coffee experience since it first opened its doors 45 years ago in Seattle,” said Norbert Tan, executive director, Starbucks Hong Kong. “Our passion for coffee remains the same, strong passion to this day.”
The interior of the store incorporates artwork created by local artist Niko Leung who designed more than 150 handmade sculptures that pay homage to the coffee brewing methods offered at the Cityplaza store. The sculptures are plaster casts of coffee equipment including tampers, kettles, syphon brewers and espresso portafilters that are mounted on the wall. The effect is a curated yet dynamic installation that shows customers the many ways that coffee can be enjoyed.
“We wanted to create a store that feels open and welcoming for customers and also makes a visually theatrical statement inviting shoppers in to try our premium coffees,” said Izon, director of Starbucks Store Design. “This thinking led us to create the first ‘open kitchen’ Starbucks Reserve Experience Bar concept in Hong Kong, which allows for an intimate connection between partner and customer over coffee.”