Brewing a new space in Suzzallo

A Venti-sized Starbucks is set to open in the library this fall.

When he designed the University of Washington’s iconic library in the 1920s, architect Carl Gould never could have imagined it could be home to a coffee shop. But what was first the Suzzallo science reading room, and later the government document library, will this fall become a full-fledged 4,000-square-foot Starbucks.

For the past few years, it has served as the “Suzzallo Café,” a taupe-walled room filled with utilitarian tables and chairs. Now the space just inside the main entrance is undergoing a thoughtful makeover. It will be wrapped in warm wood, black leather and cold-rolled steel and filled with large communal tables as well as chairs for cozy conversations.

Working with UW Libraries, Housing & Food Services and other campus stakeholders, the Starbucks designers sought to create something in harmony with the natural beauty of the campus that still serves the dynamic nature of student and faculty life. They worked up a storyline—that of a student new to the city and the University. There in Suzzallo, “the soul and jewel of the campus,” that student will get a “glimpse of something new, yet familiar.”

Read more in UW Today.