Gonzalez Haase AAS architectural firm designs Aera bakery in BerlinMitte, Germany

Those who know Berlin know that Rosenthaler Platz in Berlin-Mitte is a very central place and to have a shop overlooking this square is to enjoy a rather privileged location. And if the place in question has a fascinating color palette, as in the case of the last intervention carried out by the Gonzalez Haase SAA architectural firm, then it’s over.
The project concerns the second location of Area, a gluten-free bread producer, with an adjoining caf̩, inserted in a pre-existing space of only 70 square meters and with a ceiling height of 3.80 meters. To fit out the new store, the space was completely emptied and all surfaces, including the floor as well as the walls and the ceiling, were redone in concrete and painted in a striking lapis lazuli blue. A color inspired Рas the architects explain Рby the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, whose 17th century works are famous for the use of natural overseas. And it is precisely this powerful color that makes Aera Bakery a place of great visual appeal, inviting passers-by to enter the store, even just to take a look.
In the interior design, Gonzalez Haase AAS created the furniture in solid oak, contrasting with the shelves for bakery products in electropolished stainless steel. A central counter 13 meters long runs diagonally from the entrance to the back of the store, divided into a sales area and one coffee area. A design solution that becomes a spatial reference point for visitors. In addition, the environment is characterized by an unusual material composition, with its proportions and visual fusion with the surrounding space. Elements attributable to the fact that the intensity of the blue color and the surface effect of the concrete change as the incidence of natural light varies from light blue to dark blue, from gloss to opaque . The shop thus becomes metaphorical space sculpture and the visitor, part of its staging.
Judith Haase co-founder of the architectural firm Gonzalez Haase, which she opened in 1999 with Pierre Jorge Gonzalez, explains the reasons for these design choices. But to better understand them, you should know that the studio, specializing in architecture, scenography and lighting, began to work in collaboration with Richard Gluckman and Robert Wilson for the Watermill Center in New York. It thus becomes evident how, from the start, the studio emphasized the interplay between light and architecture in its designs, creating projects that often involved collaborations with contemporary artists, curators and collectors. . Indeed, in a press note, Judith Haase explains: “The powerful, uniform color palette works like the background of a painting, allowing the real subject to come into its own. Coupled with the LED lighting strips mounted directly to the ceiling and natural light filtering through. the window facade, has created for us a vibrant and bright space that showcases fine bread and baked goods. Their warm gold color appears as a complementary and punctuated element in a space that clearly stands out. “

The Aera bakery has thus become an additional focal point on the already bustling Rosenthaler Platz in Berlin-Mitte, offering customers a surprising but harmonious space. And he did it by putting into practice the unusual partnership between matter and color, a striking combination that makes a visit to the Aera bakery a sensory experience in its own right.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Gonzalez Haase AAS
Location: Berlin, Germany
Year: 2021
Images: Thomas Meyer

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