Japanese architects Kengo Kuma & Associates has recently completed a Starbucks coffee in a somewhat unexpected location, sitting in the main approach to the Dazaifu Tenmangu, one of Japan's major shrines.
Established in 919 A.D., the shrine is devoted to "the God of Examination," and receives about 2 million visitors a year who wish their success. Along the main path to the shrine, there are traditional Japanese buildings in one or two stories. The project aimed to make a structure that would harmonize with such a townscape, using a unique system of weaving thin woods diagonally.
The building is made of 2,000 poles which vary from 1,3 to 4 metres in length and 6 cm in section. When lined together, the total length of the poles reaches as far as 4,4 km. Kengo Kuma & Associates had previously experimented with the weaving of poles in the Chidori and GC Prostho Museum Research Center.
For this Starbucks, the architects used diagonal weaving in order to bring in a sense of direction and fluidity, improving the weaving method to a greater level of complexity. The space invites visitors inwards, bringing them further into the architecture. It is a fluid, cavernous space.
Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Tenmangu Omotesando
Design and Supervision:Kengo Kuma & Associates
Site Area: 436.71 square metres
Built Area: 212.98 square metres
Total Floor Area: 210.03 square metres
Height of Ceiling: 1 Floor - 4m
Maximum Height: 5.06 metres
Structure: Jun Sato Structural Engineering
Facility Design Tosai Corporation, Kyu-den Ko Corporation
Construction: Matsumoto-gumi Corporation
Lighting: Isumi Okayasu Lighting Design
Design Period: January - August 2011