Ningbo, Zhejiang, 132sqm
A French bakery inspired by a Japanese aesthetic. This authentic bakery in Ningbo is run by a local couple whose Japanese bread training brings a refreshing twist to their flavours and products.
Located within an established residential area, this neighbourhood bakery undertook a complete refresh of their interior and façade. The owners, who bake daily onsite, wanted to create a unique space for people to come and hang out while continuing to provide the neighbourhood with a quality product.
Keeping it modern and clean-lined, the façade is simple with light grey plaster, pale green tiles, and minimal white signage, allowing it to stand out from the adjacent local stores. Warm coloured, wooden joinery opens to the street, allowing views straight into the working area of the bakery. The owners love of mid-century furniture and Japanese minimalism guided the design’s simplicity and clean-lined style. This restraint helped us to create a space that was consistent and well-integrated, giving greater focus to the product.
It was important to retain a simple material palette that balanced the hard, distressed elements with softer, warm colour, creating an environment that was inviting and comfortable for people to enjoy. Rich walnut, antiqued brass and distressed concrete walls give a rustic and textured backdrop to the authentic bread products made here.
It was crucial for the client that the bread oven and product was visible from the customer space. hcreates opened the middle of the space to allow views down and into the production areas with counter and seating along the sides. One of the challenges involving the bread oven was being able to move it in and out, without having to break down any of the fit-out. To address this within the narrow shop space, hcreates made the kitchen wall, shelving, and front of house display counters, all easily removable. The product display required each item to be laid out in a row, this made for a long display counter which we placed at the end of the space allowing visibility from the street.
One of the unique existing features was the double-height space. This allowed for impactful design over the counter and an uplifting entry experience. Large folding windows at the front open the façade and connect to the small front terrace creating seating on either side. The existing mezzanine was reconfigured to extend the seating, creating a cosy nook for customers to people watch from above or enjoy a quiet corner. Using the height, hcreates opened more windows in the façade allowing light to filter in, creating an atmosphere filled with beautiful, natural light.
Project: Ningbo Have Salt Bakery
Address: Dabu street, Ningbo, Zhejiang
Completion year: 2020
Gross area: 132sqm
Photography: Graeme Kennedy