Here’s how Starbucks is blending historic local design into brand aesthetic

New outlets in Taipei, Hong Kong boast unique architecture.

In a notable display of adaptability, Starbucks recently opened two new stores that feature a mix of historic and modern design elements to lure in customers.

According to Starbuck’s news release, the brand opened an outlet in the Bangka district, one of the oldest districts in Taipei. The branch is on the main floor of a traditional-style home built for a local wealthy family, the Lin clan, in 1932. The Lin residence was recently preserved, and is a local landmark.

Starbucks notes that the store made a concerted effort to merge the home’s history with Starbucks’ aesthetics.

“The concept was to develop a coffee house where the story of the building’s history and the heritage of the Starbucks brand connect to create a harmonious environment,” said Michael Izon, director of Store Design, Starbucks China/Asia Pacific.

“We wanted the historical elements of the building to be revealed and discovered by anyone who visits the store,” he adds.

The result was a coffee bar designed to feature house’s original windows and doors are revealed through protective glass, as well as an experiential bar that showcases the ritual of the Siphon and Pour Over brewing methods. 

The store’s columns are also bedecked with stenciled patterns intended to evoke the building's original wallpaper. 

Further, embroidery art created by one of the Lin daughters are display on the museum. Starbucks also commissioned Taiwanese embroidery artist, Lily Huang, to craft an anniversary Starbucks Siren that hangs in the store. The piece commemorates Starbucks’ Taiwan’s 18th anniversary.

Meanwhile, Starbucks’ Cityplaza store sits in one of Hong Kong’s busiest malls. It offers Starbucks Reserve coffees, and is currently offering Starbucks Cold Brew for the first time in Hong Kong.

The store interior features artwork by local artist Niko Leung, who designed over 150 handmade sculpture inspired by the coffee brewing methods offered at the Cityplaza store.

The sculptures are plaster casts of coffee equipment such as tampers, kettles, and syphon brewers.

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