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.

03/22/2012 By Adam Moore

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.