Starbucks is known for its unwavering consistency, from its unoffensively homey store décor to its burnt-coffee smell. But this Thursday, the brand that normalized the $4 latte is opening an experimental concept store in Amsterdam that offers a glimpse of the Starbucks of the future—at least in Europe.
Located in the former vault of a historic bank on Rembrandtplein, the new shop will be a showcase for sustainable interior design and slow coffee brewing, with small-batch reserves coffees and Europe’s first-ever Clover, a high-end machine that brews one cup at a time. But the most radical departure is in the aesthetic: the multilevel space awash in recycled and local materials: walls are lined with antique Delft tiles, bicycle inner tubes, and wooden gingerbread molds; repurposed Dutch oak was used to make benches, tables, and the undulating ceiling relief consisting of 1,876 pieces of individually sawn blocks. The Dutch-born Liz Muller, Starbucks concept design director, commissioned more than 35 artists and craftsmen to add their quirky touches to the 4,500-square-foot space.