Will Speros •
November 15, 2019
Photography by Connor Surdi and Matt Glac
Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has launched its sixth Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago. The largest Starbucks outpost in the world, the 35,000-square-foot location highlights seven different brewing methods across five stories on Michigan Avenue. Jill Enomoto, Starbucks’ vice president of design and concept, crafted the store as a love letter to the city.
“What a fantastic opportunity for Starbucks to come into this very iconic building and put a Roastery in here,” says Enomoto. “We envisioned this five-story experience that would pull people from the ground floor all the way up and tell this really beautiful story about the growing of coffee. Before you know it, you walked five floors and you’ve gotten this really amazing journey, ever upwards.”
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago features burlap bags of green, unroasted beans that herald the arrival experience. A 56-foot-tall steel cask serves as the centerpiece of the Roastery, demonstrating a sculptural hybrid of form and function. A curved elevator also wraps the giant cask to link visitors from the first to second floor. Custom artwork—including three handpainted murals from local artists—punctuate the interior with a sense of place.
The brand’s iconic siren also adorns the wall in a mural across the third and fourth floors. The striking sunray ceiling is wrapped in the brand’s signature green hue to convey the agricultural roots at the heart of the experience.
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