The bright unit with high ceilings which was chosen for the project is located in the revenue house of I. M. Korovin and was historically preceded by a bakery. Before embarking on the project, we scrutinized the history of the house and its district. The house was built in 1914, and the bakery appeared straight after, being a part of quite an enormous Moscovian chain of bakeries ‘Titov and His Sons’. The building façade still retains an antique sign ‘Bakery OTD M.G.K.I.O’ which supposedly harks back to the 1920s.
Thus, we had a historical unit and a technical task from a customer to recreate the pre-revolutionary atmosphere of a bakery and to sustain the historical significance of the place.
We tried to work with exceptional delicacy- by keeping and restoring what has been found under the layers of finishing material left after the grocery store.
We consider it to be conceptually crucial to convey the uniqueness of the space, without striving for deliberate historicism. Our primary task was to imbue the unit with airiness through geometrical purity and laconic emphasis on the artifacts.
During the dismantlement process, we found the original encaustic tile, which was meticulously cleaned and restored. The same was done to the window trimmers. Moreover, the tile was partly preserved in the escutcheons.
We would like our guests to feel the space coming back to life, experience its idiosyncratic imperfections, its authenticity, and its distinctive character.
We found it vital to integrate the elements with certain cultural reference. And this gave birth to the idea of chameleon hand-made encaustic tile at the cash desk. We also paid homage to the old Titov’s bakeries by placing the pastry rack in one of the storefronts. The central window, smothered with flowers, represents the wheat field and is the most photogenic spot of the bakery. The old archival pictures of the 1920s helped to bring bentwood chairs to the interior. The chairs along with textured walls evoke nostalgia. The neon lighting of the technical door portal looks ironic against this antique backdrop, as well as the bright metal lamp we decided to keep after the first draft. These elements stand in contrast to the vintage atmosphere.
A child’s drawing of an unnamed painter which dates back to 1917 was found in the State Historical Museum archives. We utilized the picture to create a holographic image with the stereo-vario technology and placed it above one of the banquettes.
Another design highlight is a massive glossy table with an epoxy top. Herbs and flowers, including buckwheat inflorescence, are symbolically fused into the top and echo the name of the bakery (‘grechka’ translates buckwheat). The idea of a large table stems from an old Russian tradition of cozy family gatherings with freshly brewed tea and fragrant pastry.