Milan. Birthplace of the contemporary espresso brew, and the natural home for Starbucks’ new high-end café and roastery concept. The first outlet in Europe under the brand’s upscale Reserve Roastery umbrella, the space is a celebration of the city’s coffee traditions, combining an elegant tasting room with a state-of-the-art roastery.

Working under a global framework agreement with the client, Arup provided architecture, project management and engineering services, together with permit consultancy and statutory roles to drive the project from concept to cappuccino.

The heart of coffee in the heart of Milan

Located in Piazza Cordusio in the centre of Milan, Starbucks' new space presents an upscale ‘theatre of coffee’, offering an immersive experience that takes customers on a journey through the bean roasting process to the grinding and brewing methods. 

Conceived as a luxury Willy Wonka-inspired coffee factory, the café and roastery encircle the copper-clad roasting cask, a stunning piece of industrial engineering. The bespoke design, created from high-quality finishes and materials, pays tribute to the legacy of Italian design and craftsmanship. 

Exposed transparent pipes convey top-quality coffee beans from silo to cask, feeding freshly roasted batches back to the main bars. Premium pastries from Italian artisan baker Rocco Princi add to the experience, creating an innovative retail space with a respectful nod to tradition. 

An artisanal tribute to Milan’s coffee heritage

Symbolically located at the historical heart of the city’s business district, the Reserve Roastery - the first of its kind in Europe - sits within a turn-of-the-century-palazzo, formerly the city’s stock exchange. A key technical challenge for this project was the sympathetic installation of Starbucks’ state-of-the-art roastery within the walls of this magnificent, protected historic building. 

Turnkey services: from inception to delivery

We were instrumental in providing everything from fast-track due diligence, strategic project delivery advice, and timely completion of the construction phase through to design development and procurement support. Specific services include Architecture, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Structural Engineering, Acoustic Consulting, BIM coordination and Project Management. On site, Arup was also in charge of Site Supervision and Statutory Roles.

One of the biggest challenges we faced in the former Palazzo delle Poste was to blend the landlord’s shell and core works with the tenant’s multidisciplinary design development. To coordinate the disciplines and professionals involved, we used Building Information Modelling and a Common Data Environment throughout the project, including during the construction phases. 

The final result is that Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan is an outstanding example of Arup’s approach to total design. The seamless integration of architecture, interior design and engineering is visible in every detail of this stunning space.