Starbucks and Green Architecture

February 19, 2011

Starbucks coffee and Green Architecture. Two of my favorite things. I love starbucks, and I love architecture, so it was a really nice experience when I finally had the chance to visit the Starbucks Green Building at Fort Bonifacio. Ordering your favorite Starbucks drink (mine is always Dark Mocha Frap) and then sitting at a table in what I call the 'atrium' (double volume space in middle of the store, open to above) was relaxing, i enjoyed sipping my drink and taking in all the details of the building. I actually visited the store with my officemates from our architectural firm, so we had a pretty good discussion on the architecture of the building. I had the opportunity to research on Green/Sustainable Architecture back when I was in Architecture school at UST, and I did a green building for my thesis. One of the things that so fascinates me are the numerous, countless things/innovations/design features that an architect can incorporate into his/her design that will not only make the architecture awesome, but also making a conscious effort to help the environment.

So I couldn't help but look around. Architects have this urge to knock on surfaces and feel for textures and finishes, and sometimes I catch myself looking up at the ceilings and staring at buildings in awe of the architecture.

The Starbucks building was really interesting. It had, what I mentioned earlier, a double volume space in the middle of the store that I think helps with the circulation of air, and frees up space, so that the interior feels airy, voluminous and grand. The building is LEED certified. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. (from Wikipedia.) To be LEED certified, an architect/designer needs to consider certain points/factors such as use of materials, construction methods, and concepts in design such as cross ventilation and rainwater harvesting. Around the building, signs are posted, indicating the numerous factors that have been considered in the design, such as use of materials and recycling.

The interior was also commendable. Very Filipino, with it's interpretation of the traditional Capiz windows.

The 'atrium'

And what's interesting about this particular Starbucks is that it has a drive through window, where you can get your favorite Starbucks drink to go! :) When you're in a hurry, and you have to get your coffee fix, then you'll really enjoy this feature : for the coffee lover on the go! I haven't tried the drive thru feature yet, I want to experience it soon!

Drive thru lane

Coffee anyone? :)

with my officemate.
notice the bamboo ceiling. 


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