Starbucks to open 4,500-sq.-ft. 'concept' store in Amsterdam

Seattle -- Starbucks will open its largest location in Europe, in the center of Amsterdam, on March 9. The 4,500-sq.-ft. store is located in the vault of the historic Amsterdamsche Bank, a landmark building on Amsterdam’s famous Rembrandt Square.

The space is Starbucks’ first “concept”  location in Europe. The company defines its concept stores as unique environments, or “design sandboxes,” created by its designers to explore innovations within the coffeehouse. The new store in Amsterdam features a high level of interaction, and a deep connection to coffee and the local community. It was conceived as a “theatre space “with a 57-ft.-long coffee bar as its stage. Multi-level community areas will serve as stages for local bands, poetry readings and other cultural activities.

“With this store I was inspired not only by the role 17th century Dutch traders played in bringing coffee to the world, but also by the place The Netherlands holds today as a design and creative capital,” said Liz Muller, concept design director. “My vision was to bring the space to life by celebrating local history and tradition while looking to the future by giving it a sense of theatre and discovery.”

The location features a floor-to-ceiling ‘tattooed’ mural celebrating the history of Dutch coffee traders, repurposed Dutch oak throughout the space, antique Delft blue tiles, a ceiling sculpture created from 1,876 hand-cut wooden blocks, and a wall clad in recycled bicycle inner tubes. It was built to LEED standards.

The store will function as a test space for rare and exclusive coffees, diverse coffee brewing methods, and new food concepts, including in-store baking, accompanied by tweets when fresh hot cookies roll out of the oven.