A bakery design in Oporto, Portugal by Paulo Merlini features an undulating ceiling and three different environments so that customers can select a space that suits their mood, all part of a strategy of “brain response to exterior stimuli”.
“We believe that if we can correctly control the stimuli that enters the brain, we can influence the state of mind of the user, making him/her happier.” says Paulo Merlini.
“We’ve studied the approximation of the observer to the space and realized that the most visually relevant plan from the exterior was the ceiling and so, we focused on that.”
“In our studies we also realized that the use of direct light tends to heat up the space and create shadowed corners turning space into uninviting places and that, in an auditory approach, the excessive noise mainly resulting of the reverberating sound was not being properly solved. So, to solve these problems we knew we had to break the sound waves and refract the light. And so we did, by creating a second ceiling that results from the repetition of wooden stripes, we found a system that could solve the two problems in a row.”
“In our research we’ve found studies that prove that the presence of color and forms that are food alike actually makes people hungrier. So to get that input on the users, we’ve picked the twenty most wanted products of the bakery and based on a pattern of global identification we found a middle tone and applied it on the walls. On the formal approach, we made the ceiling ‘melt’ in some points to make it look like a cake topping.”
“We like to think our interventions as positive manipulation of the human brain. As such we focus on giving positive inputs to all the five senses (when possible) so that we can alter ones homeostatic level, and as result make people feel happier.”
Office: Paulo Merlini arquitectura
Collaborators: André Santos Silva
Area: 460 m2
Location: Gondomar, Porto
Architect in charge: Paulo Merlini
Year of construction: 2013
Photos: João Morgado