In 2014, Starbucks opened their first Roastery in Seattle: a new, experiential destination, dedicated to the craft of coffee. Its 2017 follow-up, the Shanghai Roastery, takes that original concept to a new scale.

2x4 collaborated with the Starbucks design and innovation team to make the 30,000-sq-ft space more legible to visitors. To achieve this, we worked to extend a digital layer throughout the experience, creating a series of interactive touchpoints that highlight different parts of the bean to cup journey.

We took a holistic approach to all interventions, looking to achieve a seamless and authentic pairing of content, technology, and architecture. LED brackets on the overhead pipe system document the source and destination of incoming beans; displays embedded in wood veneer doors animate a tasting room with ambient, diagrammatic and informational content. On the exterior of the building, custom split-flap window displays activate the facade of the building. A WeChat-compatible mobile concept was adapted and developed by the Starbucks China team along with Alibaba to provide a virtual and augmented customer experience.


LED pipes detail
Cupping room doors
Custom exterior split flap display