Common in an Uncommon Space

                                Bread in Common Interiors[1]

The Project is primarily a refurbishment and re-inhabitation of an existing building, introducing new uses in a contemporary language, while preserving the historic fabric.”[2]

I personally feel that my architecture studies and (more likely) my specific love for interiors have forced me to become a little judgy when I go to restaurants and cafes. There’s obviously other contributing factors but an aesthetically pleasing and charismatic interior of a public space just makes the experience there all the more enjoyable. Bread in Common is one of these magical places. Where the charm and life in the building plays a part in the experience of visiting the establishment.

Don’t get me wrong, businesses alone can’t rely on good design and a ‘feeling’ for it to be a success. However, Bread in Common has taken advantage of not only the central Fremantle location but the contributing factor that it’s located in a refurbished Pharmaceutical warehouse that was built in 1893. The exposed brickwork façade and structural steel beams are just a few elements of the original building that people can feast their eyes on (as they are feasting ha ha).

A local and friend of mine is a returning customer and fan. “Bread in common is a space that wouldn’t be imagined in a modern building. The expansive ceiling height, floor layout and quirky brick features are all part of a design that could only have come about due to the repurposing of the historical site. A modern building wouldn’t have floating floor-less second story rooms or dark un-lined tinned ceilings, but bread in common does. It’s the quirky architectural features passed on from the buildings previous lives that gives the restaurant that level of character and aesthetic that makes it so quintessentially Fremantle.”[3] Talking to the manager on duty, Jane, I became to realise that obviously the business is benefiting from the repurposing of this space, customers are benefiting from the spirit and charisma embedded in the building, but what I didn’t take into account was the employees. “It’s a beautiful space and people like to be in beautiful spaces and I think its also very inspiring to the people who work here as well.”[4]

                                         Exterior from Pakenham Street[5]

I think a building has a story and it tells that story and can be reinterpreted over and over again. The history of a building is quite unique and it’s also a talking point and a reference point to start from. People are always asking me what this place was originally.”[6]

Jane was passionate when discussing the beautiful restaurant that she was proud to manage. She even handed over the brief written for the design team.

Before the refurbishment commenced, they insured they emphasised that the project was primarily one of re-inhabitation. “Our conceptual approach was to treat the existing structure and its history of change as honestly and simply as baking bread, and to play with the sense of the handmade, crafted interior within the ‘painterly’ darkness of the warehouse.”[7]

The emphasis of retaining the buildings character and integrity was important to the business due its historical ties with the City and the importance of not only environmental sustainability but also cultural sustainability. ‘City of Fremantle Municipal Heritage Inventory: “The City of Fremantle has identified this place as being of cultural heritage significance for its contribution to the streetscape, local area, and Fremantle as a collective whole.”’[8]





[1] Danielle Adam, 2018, Bread in Common Interior, Photograph
[2] Bread in Common. “Design Brief.” In Conceptual Frame Work, Perth, 2015, 1.
[3] Imogen Borill (Fremantle Local), in discussion with the author, March 2018.
[4] Jane (Bread in Common Manager), in discussion with the author, March 2018.
[5] Danielle Adam, 2018, Bread in Common Interior, Photograph
[6] Jane (Bread in Common Manager), in discussion with the author, March 2018.
[7] Bread in Common. “Design Brief.” In Conceptual Frame Work, Perth, 2015, 1.
[8] Ibid, 3.

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