Restaurant/Retail / Flatiron, New York, NY / 1800 Square Feet / Completed Summer 1991
From the moment you first spy City Bakery it is obvious this is not a typical neighborhood bake shop. The bakery's creator approached TCA with a well-formed vision for a shop that would stand out as unique even on Manhattan's East 17th Street; Wayne Turett worked closely with the chef/owner to bring that vision to life.
To begin, the narrow space was given a coolly sophisticated yet witty ambiance. A minimalist interior style is balanced by playful design elements. True to the owner's conception, everyday items and industrial materials are utilized in clever, new ways. An all-glass front reveals a series of white cardboard cake boxes hung in a grid-like pattern along the bakery's main 40 foot wall. Customers chat at Turett-designed satellite tables, spinning around the tall, black steel tables on revolving stools with wheels. Magazines, rolled into galvanized steel ducts, protrude from behind banquettes in the bakery's front dining area. Large bolts are used as coat hooks and menu holders. A roll of butcher paper attached to the wall scrolls down to list the day's specials. Translucent, exterior-grade fiberglass panels separate the kitchen from the public space.
Turett's detailing reinforces the chef's commitment to elegant simplicity. Cakes and pastries are remarkable for their exquisite shapes and fresh color. And innovative display units, designed by Turett, enhance their visibility. Metal plates extend or drop from graceful stainless steel arms that rise up at varying heights. Cakes positioned on the plates appear to float in space, Magritte-like. Pendant television studio lights focus on the bakery selections. With City Bakery, architecture and culinary artistry combine to present each confection as a work of art.