Starbucks blends tradition with innovation, transforming the vault of the historic Amsterdamsche Bank, a landmark building in Rembrandt Square, into its largest store in Europe. The chain’s first “concept” store in Europe, it spans 4,500 sq. ft. and was conceived as a theatre space with a 57-foot coffee bar as its stage, with multi-level areas that provide stages for local bands, poetry readings and other cultural activities. The store will function as a test space for rare and exclusive coffees, diverse coffee brewing methods, and new food concepts.
Starbucks employed local artists (more than 35 local artists and craftspeople worked under the direction of Starbucks concept design director Liz Muller) and used indigenous materials as much as possible in creating the space. As with all Starbucks concept stores, the Amsterdam one offers a significant aesthetic departure, with witty local design touches and built with sustainable materials. Among other things, it features a floor-to-ceiling ‘tattooed’ mural celebrating the history of Dutch coffee traders, repurposed Dutch oak throughout the space, antique Delft blue tiles, a ceiling sculpture created from 1,876 hand-cut wooden blocks, and a wall clad in recycled bicycle inner tubes. The ceiling features a relief composed of 1,876 hand-cut and stained wooden blocks forming the face of Starbucks’ signature Siren. It was built under LEED guidelines to reduce the impact on the environment.