Starbucks Shipping Container Store by Kengo Kuma, Hualien, Taiwan

About Kengo Kuma

DesignKengo Kuma
Area320 m2
LocationHualien, Taiwan

Kengo Kuma was inspired by the uneven foliage of the coffee trees to create the design of the new chain store. The stacked shipping container system creates a high space that provides natural light through the various skylights installed throughout the structure. Inside, the rooms have wooden cladding, contemporary furniture and graphic prints on the walls.

The project is part of Starbucks' commitment to building sustainable stores around the world. The brand recently announced that it will invest in “greener stores” - many of these prefabricated modular structures, built off-site before delivery and installation, opened in the United States.

Shipping container architecture eliminates the use of traditional construction projects that pollute the environment.

Description by architects

We designed a mobile café with recycled containers in Hualien, a spot popular for sightseeing in Taiwan.

We stack up the 40 foot containers to a height of four levels, by staggering in the angle of 90 degrees to create a transparent building like a tall tree. Since they are stacked in a rotating pattern, we were able to produce various types of terraces as well.

I believe that the porous ‘Urban Forest’ that makes good use of the containers can be a new prototype of sustainable architecture and lightweight mobility.

About Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma was born in 1954. Before establishing Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990, he received his Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Tokyo, where he is currently a University Professor of Architecture. Having been inspired by Kenzo Tange’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium, built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Kengo Kuma decided to pursue architecture at a young age, and later entered the Architecture program at the University of Tokyo, where he studied under Hiroshi Hara and Yoshichika Uchida. During his Graduate studies, he made a research trip across the Sahara, exploring various villages and settlements, observing a unique power and beauty. After his time as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in New York, he established his office in Tokyo. Since then, Kengo Kuma & Associates has designed architectural works in over twenty countries and received prestigious awards, including the Architectural Institute of Japan Award, the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (Finland), and the International Stone Architecture Award (Italy), among others. Kengo Kuma & Associates aims to design architecture which naturally merges with its cultural and environmental surroundings, proposing gentle, human scaled buildings. The office is constantly in search of new materials to replace concrete and steel, and seeks a new approach for architecture in a post-industrial society.



The Most Influential People of 2021 (Time Magazine)


John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award
Military Order of Savoy (Cavaliere di Gran Croce) (Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order)
Medal with Purple Ribbon 2018


AIJ Education Award


“Sustainable Architecture” Global Award
The 15th Public Buildings Award /
Category of Governmental Building for “City Hall Plaza Aore, Nagaoka”
Iconic Award for “China Academy of Art’s Folk Art Museum”
1st Prize, Wooden Architecture Award (France) for “Mont-Blanc Base Camp”


The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize for “Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum”


Mainichi Art Award for “Nezu Museum”


Decoration Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)


Energy Performance + Architecture Award (France)
Bois Magazine International Wood Architecture Award (France)


Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (Finland)


Togo Murano Award for “Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum”
International Stone Architecture Award (Italy) for “Stone Museum”


Architectural Institute of Japan Award for “Noh Stage in the Forest”
AIA Benedictus Award (USA) for “Water / Glass”


Address107-0062 Tokyo (Japan), Minato-ku Minamiaoyama 2-24-8
Phone (By-Cube 3F)+81 3 3401 7721
Phone (Aoyama-Tower 6F)+81 3 5413 8703
Fax+81 3 3401 7778


Address104 rue Oberkampf, F-75011 Paris France
Phone+33 1 4488 9490
Fax+33 9 5688 9490

Starbucks Shipping Container Store by Kengo Kuma, Hualien, Taiwan