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Starbucks Opens First European Concept Store in Amsterdam

Starbucks vision of the future is on display starting this Friday when the first European concept store opens its doors in the heart of Amsterdam.

By Editor / 08-03-2012

The vault of a deserted bank has been turned into a "laboratory with a ‘Slow’ Coffee Theatre, hyper local design, and floating community gathering spaces." Starbucks - The Bank is the first European concept store of the Seatle company and housed in the historic building of the Amsterdamsche Bank on the famous Rembrandt Square. Spanning 430 square meters, it is the largest Starbucks store in Europe.

The  space takes Starbucks store design strategy to the next level, the company claims. It gives customers new opportunities for discovery, a high level of interaction, and a deep connection to coffee and the local community. Concepted as a theatre space with the 17 meter coffee bar as its stage, the multi-level community areas will cameo as stages for local bands, poetry readings and other cultural activities.

“With this store I was inspired not only by the role 17th century Dutch traders played in bringing coffee to the world, but also by the place The
Netherlands holds today as a design and creative capital,” said Liz Muller, Concept Design director.  “My vision was to bring the space to life by
celebrating local history and tradition while looking to the future by giving it a sense of theatre and discovery.”
More than 35 local artists and craftspeople transformed the vault of the former bank into a modern masterpiece under the direction of Dutch-born Muller who was also the creative force behind the first three Starbucks concept stores that opened in Starbucks home town, Seattle, starting 2009.

As with all Starbucks concept stores, The Bank is a significant aesthetic departure, kitted 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.  It was built under strict Leed® sustainable building guidelines to reduce the impact on the environment.

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