Anyone who knows Berlin knows that Rosenthaler Platz in Berlin-Mitte is a very central place and that a shop with a view of this square means having a rather privileged location. And when the respective location has a fascinating color palette, as in the case of the recent intervention of the Gonzalez Haase Carrion Architectural firm, then it’s game over.
The project concerns the second location of Era, a manufacturer of gluten-free bread, with an attached café, integrated into an existing area of only 70 square meters and with a 3.80 meter high ceiling. For the furnishing of the new shop, the areas were completely gutted and all surfaces, including the floor, walls and ceiling, were redone concrete and painted in a striking lapis lazuli blue. A color that – as the architects explain – was inspired by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, whose 17th century works are famous for the use of natural ultramarine. And it is precisely this strong color that makes the Aera bakery a place with a high visual appeal that invites passers-by to enter or just to rummage.
In the interior design, Gonzalez Haase AAS created the furnishings in solid oak, contrasted with shelves for baked goods made of electropolished stainless steel. A 13 meter long central counter runs diagonally from the entrance to the end of the shop, divided into a Sales area and a Cafe area. A design solution that becomes a spatial reference point for visitors. In addition, the environment is characterized by an unusual material composition, which is characterized by its proportions and its optical merging with the surrounding space. Elements that can be traced back to the fact that the intensity of the blue color and the surface effect of the concrete change with the incidence of light, from light blue to dark blue, from glossy to opaque. The store thus becomes a metaphorical one spatial sculpture and the visitor, part of his staging.
Judith Haase Co-founder of the Gonzalez Haase architectural office, which she co-opened in 1999 Pierre Jorge Gonzalez, explains the reasons for these design choices. But to understand them better, it’s important to know that the studio, specializing in architecture, scenography, and lighting, began working in collaboration with Richard Gluckman and Robert Wilson for the Watermill Center in New York. This makes it clear that the studio has placed a strong focus on the interplay of light and architecture in its designs from the start and created projects that were often created in collaboration with contemporary artists, curators and collectors. In fact, Judith Haase explains in a press release: “The powerful, uniform coloring acts as the background of a painting and really shows off the actual motif. Paired with the LED light strips attached directly to the ceiling and the natural light that falls through the window front, we create a lively, light-flooded room that focuses on the fine bread and baked goods. Its warm golden color appears as a complementary, dotted element in a room that clearly stands out. “
The Aera bakery has thus become a further attraction on the already lively Rosenthaler Platz in Berlin-Mitte, which offers customers a surprisingly harmonious space. This is due to the extraordinary combination of material and color, which makes a visit to the Aera bakery a sensual experience.
Project: Gonzalez Haase AAS
Location: Berlin, Germany
Pictures: Thomas Meyer