If you visit this new Starbucks location in Tokyo, you might want to speak in a whisper.
The Starbucks coffee experience is assuming an intellectual identity in Tokyo, where design team Nendo will unveil a library-themed Starbucks coffee shop. This temporary, pop-up shop speaks to a new trend in Tokyo, where stores are appearing for short intervals of time before closing, though this store aims to elevate its creative concept beyond previous stores' attempts. The store adheres to a very literal interpretation of the library concept, lining the walls with endless shelves that closely resemble a library’s shelving units. Nine differently colored books fill each shelving unit, each detailing a different espresso drink. Sparse seating encourages customers to roam around the makeshift library and explore the coffee literature. And, of course, the purchasing counter could easily pass as a library’s circulation desk, where coffee rather than books is the thing shared from customer to customer.
However, the library concept does not end with the architecture, but extends to the movement and policy of the coffee shop. For example, customers are encouraged, instead of reading the menu, to look through the shop’s books to uncover their drink of choice, with each differently colored book representing a different type of espresso drink. After determining the drink, the customer can bring the book with them to the purchasing counter as a way of ordering. Though the book must be returned, customers are able to keep the book sleeve with their drink’s history and information on it, a souvenir of their unique, literary coffee shop experience.
"The 'library' invites visitors to choose an espresso drink as they would a book, and verse themselves in espresso drinks as though quietly entering a fictional world," said the team at Nendo. "Books and coffee are both important parts of everyday life, so we created a link between [them]."