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Brief Published: 17 Aug 2012

Breadbox Café’s Revolving Façade, New York


The inspirational design of the Breadbox café/bakery, New York is delighting guests with an unusual structural approach that sits somewhere between architecture and visual merchandising.

Designed by local studio ODA-Architecture, the façade – an original 1950s brick building that had been slated for demolition – has been given a new lease of life via an intriguing kinetic display involving a series of revolving rolling pins. 

The rolling pins are attached to a steel framework that wrap around the building’s exterior, positioned on top of one another in a grid-like formation. Adding a community aspect to the design, each rolling pin has been sponsored by a group or individual from the local area – a symbolic architectural gesture of the way in which the community is helping to revitalise its own environment. All proceeds go towards the New York Foundling Organisation to help provide tuition for children in foster care.

Continuing the local theme, grassy areas along the pavement and plant boxes incorporated into the building’s exterior have been designed to create a pedestrian-friendly zone for people to meet and gather.

While much of the exterior has been drastically transformed, the interior has been designed to complement the original material palette. Mechanical systems and exposed pipes along the ceiling have been polished and restored. A wooden panel partition has been introduced to help define space, and two skylights have been incorporated into the design to help fill the interior with natural light.

For more on architectural restoration projects that are breaking the standard mould, see our report Future Classic: Contemporary Restoration.

For more information on how facades are being embraced as a way to brand building, see our report Future-Facing Facades.

ODA Architecture

Bread Box Café

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