The Grechka Lab Bakery by Veter Architects aims to recreate the pre-revolutionary atmosphere of a Moscow bakery within an existing building dating back to 1914.
With its bright interior and high ceiling, the building originally contained a bakery that was part of a large chain of Moscovian bakeries called ‘Titov and His Sons.’ Although a grocery store subsequently replaced the bakery, the building façade still retains an antique sign from the 1920’s reading ‘Bakery OTD M.G.K.I.O.’
Working to keep and restore what has been found under layers of finishing materials applied over the years, the space conveys a natural uniqueness, rather than deliberate historicism. During the peeling back process, the architects discovered original encaustic tile, which was meticulously cleaned and restored. Tile was also partly preserved in the escutcheons. The tiling that was revealed further inspired the addition of chameleon handmade encaustic tile at the cash desk.
Other elements include a pastry rack situated in one of the storefront windows as an homage to the original bakery, while a wheat field is represented in front of the central windows.
Old archival pictures from the 1920’s inspired the choice of bentwood chairs for the interior, along with the textured walls. Against this, a bright and modern metal light fitting contrasts sharply against the vintage atmosphere.
Another design highlight is a massive glossy table with an epoxy top that draws from the tradition of large Russian families gathered around a table. Herbs and flowers, including buckwheat inflorescence, are symbolically infused into the tabletop and echo the name of the bakery (‘grechka’ translates as buckwheat).
The resulting atmosphere is one of idiosyncratic imperfection that lends authenticity and a distinctive character to the space.