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Bourke Street Bakery
Click for project description
28th Street Facade
Custom Retail Counter
Custom Display Millwork
Custom Retail Counter
Dining Area
Custom Banquettes & Tables
Community Table
Seats at the Kitchen
Existing Materials & Custom Millwork
Deck Oven at Work
View from the Kitchen
Community Table
Millwork Details at Retail Counter

28th Street Facade
Custom Retail Counter
Custom Display Millwork
Custom Retail Counter
Dining Area
Custom Banquettes & Tables
Community Table
Seats at the Kitchen
Existing Materials & Custom Millwork
Deck Oven at Work
View from the Kitchen
Community Table
Millwork Details at Retail Counter

Bourke Street Bakery, 2019
New York, NY

GRT Architects was asked to design the first American outpost of Sydney’s renowned Bourke Street Bakery. Co-founder and baker Paul Allam has twelve locations in Australia, beloved for their friendly atmosphere, meticulously sourced ingredients and exquisite selection of savory and sweet baked goods. Having agreed with his wife that their three children were not in fact getting any younger, it was decided that 2018 was the year to try something new. After pondering Tokyo, Paul found an ideal space in Manhattan’s NoMad district and made the move. 

The space Paul found is located on the ground floor of a half-block complex of buildings formerly known as the Hotel Seville, presently The James Hotel NoMad. Designed by architect Henry Allen Jacobs in 1901, the hotel was formally recognized in 2018 as a Historic Landmark for its Beaux Arts facades. To create a ground floor retail space, the owners of The James selectively demolished former staff offices on the second floor resulting in a volume ranging in height from eight to eighteen feet. This two thousand square foot space was delivered raw. The steel beams which formerly supported the second floor were exposed, barely above head height.  Throughout the design process we looked for ways to preserve the unique character of the space while building a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen visible to patrons of the all-day café.

To introduce Bourke Street Bakery to a new continent we created a kitchen visible from all parts of the space. We conceived the kitchen workflow for the mutual benefit of bakers and customers. Diners can eat on the same slab of marble that bakers use to roll out pastry. Bread is baked throughout the day in a seven foot tall deck oven, given pride of place at the junction between front and back of house. We left the passageway to the kitchen open, trusting that customers would respect the space of the artisans at work.

Baking activity and equipment contributes to but does not define the space. Upon entering the space, customers are immediately enveloped in a warm, textured material palette that leaves the street behind. The steel beams running nearly seven feet overhead are an important design element both in their appearance and as a ‘watermark’ used to divide wall finishes. Below the beams softer, acoustically absorptive cork paneling lines the walls and composes against custom cherry millwork. Above, a more abstract thin wale corrugated steel reflects light and resolves the transition to fully exposed mechanical systems. The beams also serve as an armature for lighting, effectively turning them into fixtures. The same eight-inch globe fixture is employed throughout, mounted atop beams where head clearance was needed, hung below beams at service counters, and in a stepped ‘chandelier’ configuration at the community table. 

A lightweight concrete slab was poured to address the uneven and hole-ridden floor. Our firm has experimented with colored concrete in both architecture and product design, drawn to its durability and the natural variation that is inherent to casting. We selected a salmon color to evoke Bourke Street’s sunnier home and for the way it adds warmth to bounced light.

A total of forty six can be seated in a variety of settings. At the center of the café is a community table with stools in splattered pink and green enamel. This area was kept intentionally low and informal to preserve views into the working bakery. The perimeter is lined with a custom banquettes in solid cherry with a deep green leather back. Loose seating in shades of green complements the warm tones throughout and echoes the various plants distributed in the space. Having considered concrete and terrazzo counters, we chanced upon nature’s version in Ceppo dell’Adda, a fluvial conglomerate with beautifully irregular aggregate. We used this affordable natural stone for all customer facing counters and backsplashes including a bar-height counter that is separated from the bakers by just a pane of glass.   

Besides crowds waiting for bread and sausage rolls, the greatest compliment paid has been from visiting Australians who said the room feels like home.

Bourke Street Bakery, 2019
New York, NY

GRT Architects was asked to design the first American outpost of Sydney’s renowned Bourke Street Bakery. Co-founder and baker Paul Allam has twelve locations in Australia, beloved for their friendly atmosphere, meticulously sourced ingredients and exquisite selection of savory and sweet baked goods. Having agreed with his wife that their three children were not in fact getting any younger, it was decided that 2018 was the year to try something new. After pondering Tokyo, Paul found an ideal space in Manhattan’s NoMad district and made the move. 

The space Paul found is located on the ground floor of a half-block complex of buildings formerly known as the Hotel Seville, presently The James Hotel NoMad. Designed by architect Henry Allen Jacobs in 1901, the hotel was formally recognized in 2018 as a Historic Landmark for its Beaux Arts facades. To create a ground floor retail space, the owners of The James selectively demolished former staff offices on the second floor resulting in a volume ranging in height from eight to eighteen feet. This two thousand square foot space was delivered raw. The steel beams which formerly supported the second floor were exposed, barely above head height.  Throughout the design process we looked for ways to preserve the unique character of the space while building a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen visible to patrons of the all-day café.

To introduce Bourke Street Bakery to a new continent we created a kitchen visible from all parts of the space. We conceived the kitchen workflow for the mutual benefit of bakers and customers. Diners can eat on the same slab of marble that bakers use to roll out pastry. Bread is baked throughout the day in a seven foot tall deck oven, given pride of place at the junction between front and back of house. We left the passageway to the kitchen open, trusting that customers would respect the space of the artisans at work.

Baking activity and equipment contributes to but does not define the space. Upon entering the space, customers are immediately enveloped in a warm, textured material palette that leaves the street behind. The steel beams running nearly seven feet overhead are an important design element both in their appearance and as a ‘watermark’ used to divide wall finishes. Below the beams softer, acoustically absorptive cork paneling lines the walls and composes against custom cherry millwork. Above, a more abstract thin wale corrugated steel reflects light and resolves the transition to fully exposed mechanical systems. The beams also serve as an armature for lighting, effectively turning them into fixtures. The same eight-inch globe fixture is employed throughout, mounted atop beams where head clearance was needed, hung below beams at service counters, and in a stepped ‘chandelier’ configuration at the community table. 

A lightweight concrete slab was poured to address the uneven and hole-ridden floor. Our firm has experimented with colored concrete in both architecture and product design, drawn to its durability and the natural variation that is inherent to casting. We selected a salmon color to evoke Bourke Street’s sunnier home and for the way it adds warmth to bounced light.

A total of forty six can be seated in a variety of settings. At the center of the café is a community table with stools in splattered pink and green enamel. This area was kept intentionally low and informal to preserve views into the working bakery. The perimeter is lined with a custom banquettes in solid cherry with a deep green leather back. Loose seating in shades of green complements the warm tones throughout and echoes the various plants distributed in the space. Having considered concrete and terrazzo counters, we chanced upon nature’s version in Ceppo dell’Adda, a fluvial conglomerate with beautifully irregular aggregate. We used this affordable natural stone for all customer facing counters and backsplashes including a bar-height counter that is separated from the bakers by just a pane of glass.   

Besides crowds waiting for bread and sausage rolls, the greatest compliment paid has been from visiting Australians who said the room feels like home.

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