Pain Paulin Bakery | France | 2017
[ciguë architecture]

Pain Paulin bakery, a project designed by Ciguë in Cap Ferret, France, is the passionate story of a man who decided to drop everything to become a baker.

The client, Paulin, contacted us for the first time in 2012 to tell us that he wanted to work with us and only us, in three years, when he would have quit his job and completed his bakery training. Every year, on the same date, he called to make sure we had not forgotten about him. At the end of 2015, as planned, he was ready and the project kicked off.

We found ourselves juggling between the conservative setting of the Cap Ferret and the desire to build something elegant and contemporary.

Instead of seeing the local urban planning regulations as a constraint, we used them as a force to drive the project. Oyster shacks are pretty much what defines the area; it is the local reference, both mentally and physically, the shack is the Cap. Our client, however, had a modern bakery in mind, offering transparency on the entire baking process, from the flour sacks to the baking.

We decided to go for a collage of ‘shack+lab’: a shack on the top floor, dedicated to the accommodation and entirely made from wood, black on the outside, natural on the inside; and a lab underneath for the bakery, mainly glass, steel, and concrete.

The shack is intimate and warm; it’s the living space, the home. The burnt douglas wood cladding gives a feeling of protection and privacy, whilst the terraces and mezzanines offer bay views and create games of indirect sunlight.

The lab, on the other hand, is bright and opens up onto the street and the city, welcoming all wandering eyes. The lack of building surface forged the modularity of the work and sales counter that gives its particularity to the bakery. It’s an open working space, where traditions and expertise are shared. It’s covered in white tiles upon which a collection of wheeled machines and tools can be moved around and rearranged according to different tasks or times of the day. Text description by the architects.

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Photography by: Maris Mezulis