May 6, 2020

Veter Updates a Historic Mansion for the Grechka Bakery in Moscow

A neon portal, in a bold electric blue, shines in sharp contrast to the neutral interiors. Photography by Mikhail Loskutov.

In 1914, the famed Soviet architect I.G. Kondratenko built a mansion in Moscow, which soon became an outpost for a chain of bakeries called Titov and His Sons. A sign for that bakery hangs upon the façade to this day, but its ground floor now hosts the Grechka bakery and café, with interiors by Veter that both honor and update its origins.

“Our main task was to recreate the pre-revolutionary atmosphere of a bakery and convey the uniqueness of the space,” says founder and creative director Eleonora Pimenova, “without striving for deliberate historicism.” During renovations of the 1,100-square-foot space, most recently a grocery store, the team discovered original encaustic tile and window trimmers. “The restoring process was a very essential part of the work,” says Pimenova, who also preserved original tile in the escutcheons.

Fameg chairs pull up to Pedrali tables, beneath original windows trimmers framing plantings of wheat. Photography by Mikhail Loskutov.

The bakery’s name, a Russian word for buckwheat, finds literal flower in botanicals displayed in epoxy within a tabletop. “The large table stems from an old Russian tradition,” she says, “of cozy family gatherings with freshly-brewed tea and fragrant pastry,” on offer in window displays and cases along a long counter. “We would like guests to feel the space coming back to life,” says Pimenova, “experience its idiosyncratic imperfections, its authenticity, and its distinctive character.” And, of course, more than a hundred years of history.

In the State Historical Museum archives, the team found a child’s painting from 1917 which, in reproduction, now hangs above a custom banquette. Photography by Mikhail Loskutov.
The team layered buckwheat and other botanicals beneath epoxy to top a communal table with surrounding Pedrali chairs. Photography by Mikhail Loskutov.
Handmade ‘chameleon’ encaustic tiles front the cashwrap counter. Photography by Mikhail Loskutov.
The front window of the original bakery offered curated displays of baked goods, a tradition the new bakery continues. Photography by Mikhail Loskutov.

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