The historic French Quarter demands a unique cafe design that reflects the singular character of this neighborhood. Starting with this idea, Starbucks has departed from its usual structured cafe design and brand identity by creating a unique cafe experience that celebrates New Orleans culture and heritage.
While Starbucks has long attempted to blend its cafes into the surrounding culture, this New Orleans cafe is truly the company’s masterpiece. By giving purpose and significance to every detail, the design is as diverse as New Orleans culture without seeming cluttered.
The new cafe interior speaks of years gone past. The Starbucks designers did extensive research to determine what authentic market places looked like in the past and found inspiration in the Louisiana merchants of the 1900s. With block paintings that are tied into the history of coffee, this dramatic cafe interior design can look at home in any history text, while still connecting the past to the Starbucks brand.
The cafe designers managed to encompass the ethereal aspects of New Orleans design with modern materials and artistic flair. The interior colors and textures are rich and earthy, creating the impression that history, culture, passion, joy and secret stories have permeated the entire space. As an exceptionally important part of the Starbucks chain, the Starbucks brand identity still shines through in all aspects of the design, but without overly interfering with it.
The inviting beauty of this space is enhanced by the gorgeous chandelier hanging above a central wooden table. Made out of the musical instruments that have made New Orleans famous across the world, the chandelier provides warm ambient light. Behind this ingenious display, wall art depicting the finest aspects of New Orleans culture provides a welcome contrast to the rich dark walls. Overall, the new Starbucks location is an excellent example of a design that blends form, function and inspiration.
Photo credits: Matthew Glac for Starbucks
Large mural by Atlanta-based artist Tommy Taylor
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