The interior design of the 21cake Baoshen Store in Shanghai is based on the idea of Da Shitang and Da Fanzhuo (meaning big canteen or communal dining hall and big/shared dining table,” which were common in the China through out the 1950’s to 70’s. What we like to express is how a bakery may also be a community center at the same time. It is meant to be a prototype, which can be used in other branches in the future.
In the center of the shop is a bean-shaped Da Fanzhuo, which consists of ten puzzle-piece-like small tables, which can be taken apart and rearranged as desired. Along with our client 21cake, we have noticed that people in the community has different spatial needs in a bakery through out the day: small tables for individuals to breakfast in the morning, big tables for gatherings of various sizes, from a baking class of a few to a birthday party with a crowd, in the afternoon and evening. The Da Fanzhuo may also be configured to the purpose of displaying breads and cakes.
On the floor underneath the Da Fanzhuo, we set copper strips in the terrazzo to delineate a plan of the big table above, which could be seen as a kind of user’s manual for the furniture. The lighting fixtures above the Da Fanzhuo are flexible and can be adjusted along with the positions of the tables.
Xiao Tuiche or little pushcart is another innovative element in the design. Borrowed from traditional Dim Sum service, customers may be served at their tables by the service team with the carts, which may also be a way to show fresh products at the entrance and other locations in the store for tasting. Xiao Tuiche are made of bent plywood and have three models, for bread, cake, or ice cream respectively.
For the overall design of the space, we used terrazzo, wood, and stucco as main materials, all in warm hues to create a relaxing and homey feelings for the neighbor-customers.