Neatly situated within the lobby of the historical Merchants Square Building in New York City’s Tribeca area, the wafting aromas emanating from the Arcade Bakery fill the air with the mouth-watering scents of freshly baked goodness.
Completed in mid 2014, by Brooklyn based architecture and interior design studio, Workstead, the quaint and charming bakery was conceived as a series of interventions within the context of the existing space. These neatly fitting consecutive spaces and alcoves make up the back of house cold kitchen prep, the on-site bakery space, a retail space and seating alcoves that line either side of the grand hallway.Drawing inspiration from the beautiful vaulted ceiling, original moss green and cream terrazzo floors and latte coloured stone lined walls, as well as a palette of simple yet strong, warm and rich finishes such as mahogany timbers, brass hardware and detailing, were selected in keeping with the era and old world grandeur of the building. Large timber framed sash windows to the back provides a visual connection to the entire bakery operation and when open, ensure that the aroma of freshly baked goods permeates the entire lobby.
Floor to ceiling white tiles run through both bakery and retail spaces creating a neutral, clean backdrop that provides a classic contrast to the richness of the antique style timber retail display, whilst mahogany plywood panels fold upward to reveal brass hinge details as they create a canopy over the retail space when open for business, and sit flush to create a beautifully detailed panel wall when closed. The simple brass detailed spherical pendants and wall lighting fixtures are a classic and harmonious selection befitting the style of the building’s era.
Previously unused display cases, the mahogany lined seating alcoves include a curved top junction detail to echo the language of the vaulted ceiling above. Challenged by the existing sloping floor throughout, tables fold out from the alcove walls, coming to rest on brass rails for customers to either perch or stand by (these are then folded away with beautifully detailed brass fasteners at the end of the day). Witnessing this once discarded space being repurposed and activated through acts of beautifully considered contextually driven ingenious design, together with its fabulously curious location and delicious selection of baked treats, definitely make the Arcade Bakery a destination worth seeking out!