Shipping containers inspire Starbucks drive-thru coffee shops here and beyond

The Seattle Sketcher

December 19, 2014 at 10:48 PM


Sketched Dec. 15, 2014

The first Starbucks drive-through made out of recycled shipping containers opened in Tukwila three years ago, and the company has already replicated the concept in more than 20 other locations. There’s one in Ballard at 15th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 53rd Street, and others in Portland, Denver and Chicago.

Stumbling upon the Tukwila store felt like discovering a giant metal sculpture, so I skipped the drive-thru and got out of the car to sketch. My favorite part of the site: the hand-painted word cloud with 63 “re” verbs, from “regenerate” to “revive,” making a statement about reuse and recycle.

I can see how Starbucks designer Anthony Perez came up with the idea of “Reclamation Drive-thru.” Stacks of containers dominate the view of the Port of Seattle from the company’s offices in Sodo. That goes to show inspiration can often be found closer than we think.


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