Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace

Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace

Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace

Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace

 

Local firm is the design studio behind the stunning new in Sydney’s Rose Bay. Briefed to make something of a statement for the artisanal bread brand’s new store, the Blainey North team sought to express the client’s authentic ethos and create a sensory experience for customers. On developing the design concept North says, “In order to go forward we went back, right back. The team and I looked at the origins of bread; the alchemy of raw components converging and the role of heat as an elemental force in the process. Through this discovery phase we were drawn to crackled textures, hammered metals and honed finishes, the sandblasted and chalky matt paint finishes.”

North stripped the building back to its original grandeur, removing a lowered ceiling and depressing partitions that had been added over the years when the space was occupied by a bank and pharmacy. “We immediately knew we wanted to celebrate the height, and while retaining characterful original windows we opened the interior up to the street with large-scale window openings that allowed the space to breathe. This connection was important to Sonoma, as the concept of breaking bread is a fundamental shared activity. The space had to be egalitarian in nature”, shares North.

 

Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace

Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace

Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace

 

The sensory journey of the customer was carefully considered in all elements of the design, from the sense of arrival to the journey to counter. While there is a casual and approachable vibe, the space features strong symmetry and geometry accentuated with contrasts of pattern and plain, textured and smooth. Much of the dynamism of the space comes from the thoughtful planning of these contrasting elements. Aged brass is used throughout, beginning with the divided disc that forms the handle for the 3m high doors. This is continued with the bold ribbon of brass set between the black and white tiles that leads the eye directly to the counter. “We always wanted bread to be the first thing you see and the cracked surface of stacks of fresh bread is mirrored by a large symbolic disc of hammered brass behind the counter”, adds North.

We’re loving the subtle twists and inverted logic throughout the space, a clever realisation of the alchemic conceptual approach. The room is divided by the brass strip, with predominantly white tiles and white paint to the left and the inverse on the right. It takes time to perceive these nuances, testament to the subtly and depth of the design. To ensure the space would endure stylistically, North used marble extensively alongside classic Thonet chairs with customised leather pads and bespoke leather banquettes. At night, the bakery takes on another identity as a sophisticated wine bar. Dramatic black powder-coated steel lights from Italy and plenty of candlelight help shift the atmosphere – a mood that is carried through to the restrooms with their dark wallpaper and brass light fittings. Sonoma is something of a chameleon, artfully shifting its nature to suit the time of day and the needs of the locals.

 

Concept Images for Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace

Concept Images for Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace
Concept images for Sonoma Bakery, courtesy of Blainey North.

 

We asked Blainey North a few questions about her experience with Sonoma and here’s what she had to say.

 

+Your favourite thing about this project?

My favourite aspect was that we were able to translate our idea so directly into an interior. The client was happy to keep the space black white and gold which was quite liberating.

+ Most challenging aspect?

The challenge was to make a bakery different and exciting yet still operational.

+ What did you learn during the project?

I learnt a great deal about the history of artisan bread making, which is fascinating. The name Sonoma comes from the town in California where the artisan sourdough bread movement is reported to have begun.

+ Would you have done anything differently?

:)

+ Any interesting/ funny/ quirky facts you could share with us?

The whole interior is inspired by the bread making process. As inspiration for the design components we pretended to embody loaves of bread in an oven. The crackled paint and fractured floor and counter all came out of that feeling of rising and becoming so so hot.

 

Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace
Finishes options for Sonoma Bakery, courtesy of Blainey North.

Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace
Bread display elevation for Sonoma Bakery, courtesy of Blainey North.

Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace
Sonoma Bakery Floor Plan, courtesy of Blainey North.

Sonoma Bakery by Blainey North | Yellowtrace


[Images courtesy of . Photography by .]

 



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6 Responses

  1. Diana Phillips

    Simply stunning. Loved the mood board reference. Nicely executed.

    Reply

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