Since Starbucks opened its first store in its Europe, Middle East and Africa region in 1998, the company has grown to over 2,400 stores in 38 countries. Here are a few of the region’s most beautiful stores – from the famous canals of Amsterdam to coastal Casablanca.
Centuries ago, the Damrak was Amsterdam’s central canal and harbor. It was there that coffee and other goods were first traded, the stock exchange was founded and the first banks opened. The Starbucks Damrak store, located in a historic bank building, celebrates the legacy of old Amsterdam. Its design celebrates the grandeur and former opulence of the space with its detailed Art Nouveau façade, 20-foot-high ceiling and dramatic columns. Contrasting features include raw existing elements such as the exposed concrete floor and ceiling with the richness of the dark wood bar, soft velvet drapes, jewel-toned fabrics and ceiling coffer details. Reclaimed wood cladding adds texture and patina, while a copper pipe light fixture overhead adds warmth and sparkle.
Starbucks opened its first roasting plant outside the United States in Amsterdam in 2002 and the store design celebrates Starbucks history in the city as well as Dutch coffee culture. Above the bar, a hand-painted sign declares, “Freshly Roasted in Amsterdam,” while framed fragments of a burlap coffee map describe the taste profiles of the growing regions.
Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin
During the Cold War, the Allied border crossing along the Berlin Wall known as Checkpoint Charlie was a symbol of division between East and West. Today the site of the former military installation has become a destination for visitors from all over the world. The Starbucks store
near Checkpoint Charlie honors its location by combining the character and roughness of the old building with the elegance of a classic Berlin coffeehouse.
The design combines classic materials such as terrazzo with an undulating timber bar cladding and painted brass. Juxtapositions between new and old, machined and handcrafted, add surprise. Hand-painted artwork on the existing brick end walls describes the roast and flavors of Starbucks coffee.
Les Halles, Paris
For centuries, the largest fresh food market in Paris was Les Halles, known as the “Belly of Paris.” Les Halles is still at the center of Paris life. One of the city’s most important metro and rail stations, it serves around 750,000 travelers on an average weekday.
To contrast with the modern gray concrete surroundings, brown metal panels and frames and a large wooden door were added to the existing storefront. Among the elements created for the space: a bright copper light fixture and a large botanical graphic highlights coffee flavors, quite at home in the historic marketplace.
Villa Casablanca, Morocco
In the North African coastal city of Casablanca, the Starbucks® store in Franklin Roosevelt Villa combines modernist design with Moroccan and French influences.
The heart of the café is the bar, designed with a strong European flavor with clean lines and sophisticated elegance. From the bar, the space opens up into a series of rooms, each distinctively decorated with an eclectic mix of new and vintage styles and materials that emphasize identity and soul.
Outside, the garden and landscaping that surround the villa are green and luscious, and have a modern Mediterranean flavor that allows varied planting arrangements and atmospheres to accent the different seating styles. The intention of the space is to appeal to groups of friends, colleagues, families, singles and couples with canopied banquet-lounge group seating and European alfresco style arrangements. Visitors can sit back, relax and listen to the bubbling fountains and distant sea.