In a bold move towards greener, more sustainable business practices, American coffee giant Starbucks opened its first Reclamation Drive-Thru in the brand’s home state of Washington in 2011.


Designed by in-house Starbucks architects, the 2-storey coffee hub is constructed from four recycled cargo containers.

Made according to LEED green building standards, the hip drive-through shipping container cafe features water-efficient irrigation, energy performance optimisation, green power, construction waste management, recycled content, and low-emitting materials.


Collaborating structural engineers MA Wright used off-the-shelf container parts to modify the structure for its new use.

Starbucks spokesperson Alan Hilowitz told Inhabitat:  “Our designers were inspired to create this store both as a result of the shipyard that can be seen out the back windows of our headquarters in South Seattle, as well as a desire to recycle the same kind of shipping containers that transport our coffees and teas around the world.”


The Reclamation initiative is part of a broader Starbucks strategy to promote green building to minimise energy use and operational costs and encourage innovation in environmental retail design.


Hilowitz added, “Our store designs reflect Starbucks’ core mission as a gathering place for the communities we serve, as well as a commitment to reduce our environmental footprint and use our scale for good.”

Located in sleepy Tukwila, a small suburban city on the southern outskirts of Seattle, the unconventional shipping container cafe is certainly the most innovative looking building on the block.