When you think about bread, what kind of imagery comes to mind? Often, it’s the beige, gold, caramel, and umber tones of the grains used to make it, or the texture of woven bread baskets and the linens that line them. Perhaps it’s also the wood, marble, and stone commonly seen in traditional French boulangeries.
When interior design firm Commune set out to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for a gluten-free bakery in Los Angeles, they channeled the versatility of the stuff: its capacity to act as a vessel for other flavors or stand as a simple pleasure in its own right. The result conjures all of the right sensory aspects of one of humankind’s most basic and beloved foods for a space that’s simultaneously chic and down to earth.
Breadblok began as a farm stand (also designed by Commune), drawing in hungry customers with a streamlined wooden frame wrapped in natural canvas. As it transitioned to its first brick and mortar store, the bakery wanted to maintain this essential aesthetic and its inherent Instagram-friendly nature, expanding it to develop a more well-rounded identity.
“For Breadblok, we wanted to celebrate our client’s roots in the south of France, but for the space to feel unmistakably Californian,” Commune’s Roman Alonso tells Wallpaper. “I feel we were particularly successful in doing that through the juxtaposition of certain materials like the plaster walls and rough travertine counter, reminiscent of buildings in Provence, with the Saltillo tile floor, which has a strong connection to LA’s Spanish Colonial past. Ultimately, Breadblok creates a high-quality artisan product and the space needed to communicate that in a nuanced way.”
Whether it’s intentional or not, the bakery’s name sounds like a reference to the importance of bread in cuisines around the world for practically all of human history. It’s only fitting that the designers would use materials found among the most essential building blocks of our architectural history, too. The terracotta floors root the space in a feeling of warmth, while the stone pedestals holding up the counters grant a sense of solidity.
Various tones of wood, metallic copper accents, and tinted glass let the loaves of bread being displayed on the back wall shine, while the handwoven rope baskets by local artist Dax Savage, which themselves have been transformed into pendant lighting, are another callback to the original farm stand.
Does this bakery design make you hungry for some fresh-baked bread or what? If you don’t live in the Los Angeles area to experience Breadblok yourself, now’s probably a great time to experiment with some bread making of your own, whether wheat based or gluten-free.
The firm describes itself as a “Los Angeles-based design studio with a reputation for holistic work across the fields of architecture, interior, graphic, and product design. The firm has designed residential, commercial, and hospitality projects worldwide, a wide array of home and lifestyle products, as well as graphic and branding concepts for the fashion, arts, and entertainment industries. The studio values the strength of the collective mind, believing that authentic creativity and innovation come from collaboration. The true virtuosity of their work comes from their collaborations with their clients, as well as with other members of the community.”