Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has been making headlines lately for his epic design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium, now under construction. Kuma is known for incorporating timber in his designs to create stunning spaces; as such the stadium will feature cedar and larch from across Japan as well as abundant greenery to give it a natural and open feel.  

You don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy his flowing architectural stylings, though. Coffee fans can admire their timber surrounds while sipping a latte at none other than Starbucks.

Kuma’s newest Starbucks design is the roastery in Nakameguro, however his first association with the java giants was back in 2011 with the stylish design of the Dazaifu Tenmangu Omotesando store in Fukuoka.

The store features over 2,000 cedar battens, woven rather than nailed, flowing all the way through from inside to out. The design concept was to harmonise with the atmosphere of the nearby Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine.

This blend of modernist and traditional design and technique really speaks to his clout as an architect. Although Naka-Meguro may be a closer stop on many architectural itineraries, the Fukuoka store is truly something to behold.

The next time you’re in Fukuoka, make sure you stop by to appreciate the design (and a coffee). This way you can sound like an expert when referencing his ‘early work’.

Store information: Starbucks Coffee Dazaifu Tenmangu Omotesando
Address: 3-2-43 Saifu, Dazaifu-shi, Fukuoka
Open: 8:00–20:00
No scheduled holidays
Official webpage: http://www.starbucks.co.jp/en/search/detail.php?id=1058

Post by Japan Journeys.