Starbucks opens First European Concept Store in Amsterdam
Starbucks has just opened its first Concept Store in Europe, in the center of Amsterdam, on Friday, March 9. The store is located in the vault of the historic Amsterdamsche Bank, a landmark building on Amsterdam’s famous Rembrandt Square. Spanning 430 square meters (4,50o sqf), it is the largest Starbucks store in Europe. With its radical design departure and ‘Slow’ Coffee Theatre, it offers a new experience for coffee, design and food innovation.
This magnificent space takes Starbucks store design strategy to the next level. It gives customers new opportunities for discovery, a high level of interaction, and a deep connection to coffee and the local community. Concepted as a theatre space with the 17 meter (57 foot) coffee bar as its stage, the multi-level community areas will cameo as stages for local bands, poetry readings and other cultural activities.
“With this store I was inspired not only by the role 17th century Dutch traders played in bringing coffee to the world, but also by the place The Netherlands holds today as a design and creative capital,” said Liz Muller, Concept Design director. “My vision was to bring the space to life by celebrating local history and tradition while looking to the future by giving it a sense of theatre and discovery.”
More than 35 local artists and craftspeople transformed the vault of the former bank into a modern masterpiece under the direction of Dutch-born Muller who was also the creative force behind the first three Starbucks concept stores that opened in Starbucks home town, Seattle, starting 2009.
As with all Starbucks concept stores, The Bank is a significant aesthetic departure, kitted with witty local design touches and built with sustainable materials. Among other things, it features a floor-to-ceiling ‘tattooed’ mural celebrating the history of Dutch coffee traders, repurposed Dutch oak throughout the space, antique Delft blue tiles, a ceiling sculpture created from 1,876 hand-cut wooden blocks, and a wall clad in recycled bicycle inner tubes. It was built under strict Leed® sustainable building guidelines to reduce the impact on the environment.
The store will function as a test space for rare and exclusive coffees, diverse coffee brewing methods, and new food concepts. The ‘Slow’ Coffee Theatre is inspired by the ‘Slow’ Food movement as it will deliver a super-premium, personal coffee experience.
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