Green Design: This Coffee Shop is Made From Reclaimed Shipping Containers

Starbucks' reclaimed shipping container coffee shop

Serving up sustainable java has become the hottest trend among hip cafes, but other than recycled napkins and wooden stirrers, that’s pretty much where the green initiative ends…until now. As the prototype for an innovative line of LEED certified cafes, Starbucks opened its first drive-thru coffee shop in Tukwila, Washington constructed from reclaimed shipping containers.

The shop, designed by Tony Gale III, Starbucks’ corporate architect and architect of record for the project, has not yet received official LEED certification, but has been set up to meet all requirements. According to the company’s official blog, “the building itself serves as a sign post, while form painting on the asphalt intuitively guides customers into the drive-thru. Rainwater collected from the roof of the drive-thru is used to nourish surrounding landscaping. Xeriscaping (selecting plants that naturally require less water) helps reduce water consumption. And in the event that the store needs a new location, the entire structure can be disassembled and moved.”

Starbucks believes that its sustainably designed Reclaimation Drive-Thru is the first step in reaching its goal of universally building new company-owned stores to be LEED-certified.

Will this cutting edge project be the wave of future? You be the judge — check out this slideshow of images on inhabitat featuring Starbucks’s greenest coffee shop.


Photo courtesy of Starbucks’ Tom Ackerman via Inhabitat


  • Eco Bay Home

    Nice job Starbucks. I hope that this is not just a test for the Washington state area but the company will roll out similar LEED built projects in many of their new stores to come.