On Feb. 28, the latest — and, at nearly 3,000 square meters, the largest — Starbucks Reserve Roastery opened its doors in Tokyo's chic Nakameguro district. Although the average Starbucks opening doesn't spark much excitement, the roastery's exquisite design, innovative approach and sheer scale merits a closer look.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo is the company's fifth such roastery. It follows openings in Seattle (2014), Shanghai (2017), Milan and New York (both in 2018), but goes above and beyond those groundbreaking facilities in embracing local design and aesthetics, not to mention an unwavering commitment to coffee.
Located in a prime spot next to the Meguro River, first impressions of the Kengo Kuma-designed building are of lightness. Angular tiered terraces draw the eye upward, and the building feels like it's about to lift off the ground. The only Reserve Roastery thus far to be designed and built from the ground up — previous iterations repurposed existing buildings — Kuma utilized sugi (Japanese cedar), a durable, fragrant, light-colored wood to make a "Japanese-like building" that would "connect the neighborhood with coffee."