Sunday, 8 August 2010

Minimalist Starbucks Store Notable For What It Leaves Out Rather Than What It Puts In

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto

Last year at Greenbuild we learned about Starbucks' new Global Store Design Strategy from Corporate Architect Tony Gale. One very attractive feature was that it was not a "one size fits all" program but would adapt the designs to different regions; Tony said "we like to do different things in different regions, to reflect what is going on in the local culture."

We previously posted about their New York store at Spring and Crosby; I recently visited their Toronto prototype and found it to be a very interesting project indeed.

It is a small store, on the ground floor of a brand new condo, at the intersection of Toronto's shiny new rebuilt dedicated streetcar line and a major subway station, so it will get a lot of walk-in trade.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the store design is not the green goodies that they put in, but the stuff they left out. They have taken a minimalist approach and left out ceilings, drywall and flooring, leaving the basic concrete shell of the building exposed. All of the piping in the ceiling that serves the floors above is exposed and open, not even painted. There is an obvious environmental benefit of using less stuff, less building materials, a smaller footprint in construction... read more story at

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