Last week, we published a story on Starbucks’s first modular store in Colorado—a LEED-certified drive-thru and walk-up shop clad in reused snow fencing. The small, glowing beacon to sustainability is part of the coffee giant’s strategy to build small outlets in markets that can’t necessarily support sprawling retail spaces. Recently, Starbucks extended the idea to Tokyo, where Nendo, a local design firm, built a pop-up that dispenses with the brand’s signature lounge-y living-room feel for an austere library, stocked with books and a few hard chairs.
Where are the dark-green walls, pendant lighting, and communal tables? Gone, gone, and gone. The only recognizable remnant of the brand is the mermaid logo peeking out of a tiny ordering window at the back of the store. That’s a radical departure for the company, which has previously been partial to in-your-face branding. The idea, according to Nendo, was to create a library, where customers could learn about coffee from the nine different books lining the shelves, each of which is a primer on the Starbucks espresso drinks on offer.
According to Nendo:
Each color of book corresponds to a different espresso drink. Visitors can stroll around the space, freely pulling books off the shelves to read and choose the drink that best suits them. At the counter, visitors can trade the book for an actual espresso drink but retain the book cover [that] tells them about the drink they have chosen, to use as a book cover, as they like.
[via FastCo Design]