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03/22/2012

Also Seen: Starbucks Coffee at Dazaifu Tenmangu Omotesando by Kengo Kuma & Associates

Seated on the main approach to the popular Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine in Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture is arguably one of the most unconventional Starbucks in the world.

By Adam Moore
 

Seated on the main approach to the popular Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine in Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture is arguably one of the most unconventional Starbucks in the world.

Designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, the new coffee shop is made of 2,000 interwoven, stick-like parts, ranging from 1.3 meters to 4 meters in length, and totaling 4.4 kilometers (2.73 miles) in all. Intended to create a sense of fluidity and direction—somehow appropriate, considering the nearby shrine is frequently worshiped as “the God of Examination”—the complex technique is a callback to the highly developed piling up of small parts from the ground seen in the traditional architecture of Japan and China. The result is a flowing, cave-like space that invites patrons in and stimulates the senses, while seamlessly blending into the surrounding townscape.