Of the 17,000 Starbucks worldwide, we've seen some amazing architectural feats, but this has got to be the ultimate pre-fab, portable, drive-thru, walk-up local for a Cup of Joe.
The coffee retailer set up shop inside a shipping container—actually four shipping containers including one 20-foot container and three 40-foot containers. I suppose a witty writer would call them one Grande and three Venti containers. But I’m not that punny.
This recycled store I in Tukwila, Washington is the first LEED-certified structure in town. It uses fully reclaimed material for the exterior. Rainwater collected from the roof reduces water consumption and nourishes surrounding "xeriscaping" -- landscapes and plants that naturally require less water. With many containers scrapped at the end of an average lifespan of 20 years, the Starbucks solution served to convert a potential waste stream from the company's supply chain into shop space. The location is also portable—able to be moved to different locations if needed.
Spokesman Alan Hilowitz described the Tukwila store as another step in fulfilling Starbucks' core mission -- providing a gathering place for communities, using Starbucks' scale "for good," and reducing the corporation's carbon footprint -- while also recycling "the same kind of shipping containers that transport our coffees and teas around the world."
The only drawback that we can find? No inside seating.