Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Architects Kengo Kuma and Associates have installed a Starbucks coffee shop on the approach to a Shinto shrine in Dazaifu, Japan.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Over 2000 wooden batons line the interior of the shop, creating a diagonally woven lattice that spikes out beyond the recessed glass facade.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Signage for the shop nestles amongst the beams, while a strip of planted reeds marks the entrance.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

You can see more projects by Kengo Kuma here, including the competition-winning proposals for the new V&A Museum in Dundee, Scotland.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Photography is by Masao Nishikawa.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

The text below is from Kengo Kuma and Associates:


Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Tenmangu Omotesando

Location of this Starbucks is somehow characteristic, as it stands on the main approach to the Dazaifu Tenmangu, one of the most major shrines in Japan. Established in 919 A.D., the shrine has been worshiped as “the God for Examination,” and receives about 2 million visitors a year who wish their success.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Along the main path to the shrine, there are traditional Japanese buildings in one or two stories. The project aimed to make a structure that harmonizes with such townscape, using a unique system of weaving thin woods diagonally.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

The building is made of 2,000 stick-like parts in the sizes of 1.3m – 4m length and 6cm section. Total length of the sticks reached as far as 4.4km.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

We had experimented the weaving of sticks for the project of Chidori and GC Prostho Museum Research Center, and this time we tried the diagonal weaving in order to bring in a sense of direction and fluidity.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Three sticks are joined at one point in Chidori and GC, while in Starbucks four steps come to one point because of the diagonal – a more complicated joint. We solved the problem by slightly changing positions of the fulcrums, dividing the four sticks into two groups to avoid concentration on a single point.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Piling up of small parts from the ground was highly developed in the traditional architecture of Japan and China. This time the method was greatly improved in combination with state-of-the art technology so that people are brought further into the architecture. It is a fluid, cave-like space.

Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Dazaifu Tenman-gū by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Location: 3-1196-11 Zaifu, Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture
Client: Manten Corporation
Type of Construction: new construction
Purpose: coffee shop
Design and Supervision: Kengo Kuma & Associates
Structure: wood
Number of Stories: One story on the ground
Site Area: 436.71㎡
Built Area: 212.98㎡
Total Floor Area: 210.03㎡
Height of Ceiling: 1F: 4m
Maximum Height: 5.06m
Structure: Jun Sato Structural Engineering
Facility Design: Tosai Corporation, Kyu-den Ko Corporation
Construction: Matsumoto-gumi Corporation
Lighting: Isumi Okayasu Lighting Design
Design Period: 2011.1 - 2011.8