How could Studio Astolfi transform a former commercial bank – a cold, sterile, and soulless space – into the symbolic home of a beloved baker of traditional breads and pastries? With carte blanche to design the interior from the ground up, the Studio began with bread itself as inspiration for the creation of a world of history, hearth, home, tradition, comfort and companionship. Warm lighting, terra-cotta floor tiles, rough pine ceiling trusses, warm walnut cabinetry, exposed brick, stone and copper evoke a vision of rustic southern Italy. More than providing mere inspiration, however, bread serves as material itself. In a niche above a seating area, richly varied loaves fit together like the pieces of a puzzle to create a graphic, chromatic and textural pattern. Another space is built entirely of bread: Padaria Portuguesa bakers collaborated with the Studio to produce loaves of massa morta, which last for many years, and which could be assembled into an interior cottage without nails, screws or bolts by the use of ancient Japanese carpentry techniques. The Studio either designed or curated all interior elements including the walls, ceilings and floors; the furniture, countertops, cabinetry, electrical and plumbing fixtures; and details both functional (like trays and napkin holders) and decorative (such as a wicker birdcage housing birds fashioned of bread).
© Studio Astolfi