Housed in the vault of an old bank, this concept café of the future is a staggering 4,500 feet and yet despite its vast size manages to retain a cozy, community feel with the help of zones, levels and recycled materials that help give it that peculiarly intimate 'Starbucks' atmosphere.
In complete contrast to the usual Starbucks appearance, however, 'The Bank' utilizes sustainable materials found locally, as well making the most of what the building already had to offer including its now fully exposed concrete and magnificently restored 1920s marble floor.
As well as the reclaimed school chairs, window cushions and perfectly integrated local design touches, the ceiling has also been beautifully clad in almost two thousand individually cut blocks of repurposed Dutch oak creating a striking visual impact.
It is abundantly clear that beauty has not suffered at the price of sustainability and can only be an exciting insight into what's to be expected next from these masters of the mainstream coffee market.
Starbucks have actually been working closely with the U.S. Green Building Council to develop certification systems for retail projects since as far back as 2001. Whilst they may not have been widely advertising this move towards more eco-conscious stores, their ongoing efforts to improve the companies environmental impact are impressive and encouraging to say the least. Not leaving any stone unturned, the company's sustainability plans extend to the use of less toxic materials, general waste reduction and water saving strategies.
The Amsterdam location is proof that these changes can be implemented with success and panache. A multifunctional space, which even has its own bakery and coffee laboratory, Starbucks hope this will become a community space for local people to gather, listen to music, hear poetry and, of course, drink coffee.
Not content to merely move with the times, this company are pre-empting them, using all their initiative, passion and know-how to progress coffee culture into the next decade and beyond.
We'll raise a cuppa Joe to that!
For more information on Starbucks responsibility report, goals and progress please visit www.starbucks.com