images courtesy Kengo Kuma | click to enlarge

Depending on where you are on the spectrum of coffee politics, you may consider Starbucks a neighborhood boon or blight – a convenient place to get your caffeine fix on every corner, or a symbol of capitalistic mass-production that now has a stronghold on your cup of joe. Either way, you have to admit that this new Starbucks interior in Fukuoka is pretty awe-inspiring.

Late last year we reported that architect Kengo Kuma was working on a starbucks in Fukuoka. Well now we finally have images of the completed store. The new location, which opened in late December, is located near Daizaifu Tenmangu, a Shinto shrine first constructed in the year 905. Given the deep history and cultural significance of the site, Kuma opted to go with the traditional technique of interlocking wooden blocks, a stylistic genre he has been experimenting with quite a bit.

The wooden beams partially extend out onto the street, resembling branches in a forest. The pure, natural materials are consistent with the Shinto aesthetic and are a gorgeous fusion of contemporary and traditional.

source: contemporist | Ryutsu