Give us this day, our daily bread

Introduction

This work formed my Masters in Architecture at the Mackintosh School of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art. The project was an investigation into how Glasgow Tenement Artisan Bakeries meet this need in the neighbourhoods they serve, in terms of production, consumption and commerce in the community.

The Tenement

I defined the search as within a ‘tenement’ typology. In his book on the subject, Frank Wordsall defines a tenement as a ‘domestic building of more than one storey, all houses of which are reached by a common stair’.

Artisan Bakeries

In France, the National Institute of Baking decrees that to be a ‘Baker’ in France, he or she must be ‘a professional craftsmen who choose their raw materials, knead the dough, control fermentation and bake bread at the place of sale’.

Four Bakeries

With these parameters in place four bakeries met the criteria of being in a tenement, and baking from ‘scratch’.

Elevations

In ‘Living Over The Shopfront’, Howard Davis writes of shop/houses that ‘they make little apology for the commerce and work that happens inside them. And they add up to a street that has the same features of purposeful function, repeated dozens of time’. In order to describe the external appearance of the bakeries I drew up elevations.

Scotstoun Home Bakery, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
Final Elevation Drawing
1:20 Scale
(510 x 760mm)

View in Shop

The Wee Bakers, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
Final Elevation Drawing
1:20 Scale
(510 x 760mm)

View in Shop

Delizique, Hyndland Street, Glasgow
Final Elevation Drawing
1:20 Scale
(510 x 760mm)

View in Shop

Tapa Bakehouse, Whitehill Street, Glasgow
Final Elevation Drawing
1:20 Scale
(510 x 760mm)

View in Shop

Plans

From the surveys I drew up detailed plans of the bakery, in order to eventually analyse the way the space is inhabited in terms of production, consumption and commerce. It was clear to me that these couldn’t be conventional architectural drawings. Sarah Wigglesworth writes, ‘to capture something as large as a building on the size of a piece of paper, architects work to a reduced scale, using symbols and codes to represent the world’.

She questioned, as did I, ‘how to use the conventions of architectural drawings to describe space as lived experience rather than a static or predictable moment of perfection?’. It was clear that these drawings had to show everything, the loose chair from the photographs, Jim’s packet of cigarettes, the fresh produce on the side, the table I sat at when interviewing Ross.

Wigglesworth comments ‘suppression of the real leads to a rejection – almost a pathological hatred – of reality and of client and users’.
It was this inhabitation that made these spaces work, produce. The function of inhabiting constitutes the link between full and empty, and I was keen to show these spaces as being full.

The aim was to show the pragmatism of these spaces, Howard Davis writes of shop/houses being ‘three dimensional volumes of an urban site in the most efficient and lucrative way’. The galley space at the rear of Scotstoun Home Bakery is barely 900mm wide, a little over a metre separates the baker from the consumer at Delizique, and at Tapa drying racks are on rollers so that the baker can move them to consumption areas when not trading.

Scotstoun Home Bakery, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
Final Plan Drawing
1:20 Scale
(760 x 510mm)

View in Shop

The Wee Bakers, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
Final Plan Drawing
1:20 Scale
(760 x 510mm)

View in Shop

Delizique, Hyndland Street, Glasgow
Final Ground floor Plan Drawing
1:20 Scale
(760mm x 510mm)

View in Shop

Delizique, Hyndland Street, Glasgow
Final First floor Plan Drawing
1:20 Scale
(760mm x 510mm)

View in Shop

Tapa Bakehouse, Whitehill Street, Glasgow
Final Plan Drawing
1:20 Scale
(760 x 510mm)

View in Shop

Sections

‘The ability of a building to change is an element of the relevant stability of a neighbourhood. A vital neighbourhood changes, but more slowly than the individual buildings within it’. The section of Delizique was going to be revealing, the space was previously a Deli shop but has more recently inserted the bakery section to the rear of the space, and more consumption cafe space toward the front. The flexibility of these tenement spaces was also revealed in the plans, where Tapa and The Wee Bakers are both formed from adjoining plots.

Section Drawings show the reliance on vertical storage in the tighter plans, as well as the material finishes on internal walls, depicting the decor of the space. Oldenburg writes that ‘none pretentious decor corresponds with and encourages levelling and abandoning of social pretences’. This can be said for all the bakeries, bar Delizique, where clear efforts are made to tastefully adorn the interior.

The more organically developed spaces could be nothing but bakeries, as Josph Wechsberg wrote of Bistros, so to could we infer for these bakeries; ‘they consist of two thirds atmosphere, one third matter’. Ross the manager of Delizique agrees, ‘I think with an open plan kitchen or an open plan bakery, half of your battle is won, because there’s part of your atmosphere there already’.

Scotstoun Home Bakery, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
Final Section Drawing
1:20 Scale
(760 x 510mm)

View in Shop

The Wee Bakers, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
Final Section Drawing
1:20 Scale
(760 x 510mm)

View in Shop

Delizique, Hyndland Street, Glasgow
Final Section Drawing
1:20 Scale
(760mm x 510mm)

View in Shop

Tapa Bakehouse, Whitehill Street, Glasgow
Final Section Drawing
1:20 Scale
(760 x 510mm)

View in Shop