Starbucks has opened a new drive-thru shop in Tukwila, Washington, in December last year. The drive-thru is made from old shipping containers and forms part of the LEED Certified Cafés, a series of sustainable bars run by Starbucks. Starbucks wants to encourage green architecture and building to reduce energy use and operational costs. “The container drive-thru is Starbucksified and emanates the same trendy design aesthetic you’d expect from their other coffee shops”, explains Inhabitat.
Coffee website Dear Coffee, I Love You is critical about the effort of Starbucks to look green with this piece of ‘cargotecture’ (container architecture). Although it implements rainwater harvesting, xeriscaping and reduced signage, the new coffee shop is a drive-thru, which is not that environment-friendly at all.
“Maybe the sheer spectacle will introduce a unique perspective to a new audience, but I don’t see how a line of idling cars waiting for their trenta ice coffee is a beacon for anything other than the worst of American consumerism and suburban sprawl.”
Nevertheless, Starbucks’s new coffee bar looks nice and offers a new coffee experience to suburban people. After it has become cool in cities to stroll the streets with a paper coffee cup in your hands, it has potential to become cool at the country-side as well. Starbucks is expanding and chooses McDonald’s way to do so, but with a green twist.