Panificio San Giuseppe Bakery - Ragusa

Home of bread

Combining ancient and modern elements, the practice DFG Architetti has created a warm, welcoming project for Panificio San Giuseppe in Ragusa
Claudia Capperucci
Marcello Bocchieri
DFG Architetti
Year of completion

A bakery is not just a shop, it is an authentic multisensorial experience. Stepping inside, one is transported back in time, engulfed by intense aromas, warm, soft colours and age-old sounds that, just like Marcel Proust’s famous madeleines, throw open a window onto our past. As well as a place devoted to food and taste, it is a vehicle for memory and civilisation.
Another artist and food lover, Salvador Dalí, covered the façade of his Theatre-Museum in Figueres with the characteristic forms of traditional Catalan bread. To pay tribute to this unique food, a symbol of life itself, the Rome and Ragusa-based practice DFG Architetti developed a very special project for the Panificio San Giuseppe in Ragusa. “A small gem set in the city capable of conveying its expressive power and baring its soul at first glance”, was how the architects themselves described it. The bakery has a large window looking out onto the street which allows natural light to flood in, revealing the essential, minimalist design of the interior. It stands out for its simple, linear furnishings, an almost exclusive use of the colour white, and fluid spaces where the counter and customer area integrates visually with the baking area to create a seamless whole. A strong natural sensation is created by the floor coverings consisting of Treverkever full-body porcelain tiles from Marazzi, chosen in the Natural colour and a 20×120 cm size (thickness 10.5 mm), which faithfully reproduce the warm look of wood (including its grain, varied shading and contrasting knots) and generate a sense of warmth and familiarity. Block collection cement tiles, also from Marazzi, are used for the wall covering in the baking area. Recreating the appearance of ancient tiles inspired by the classical world, these tiles give the interior – especially the baking area – a strongly artisanal flavour. “The baking area is no longer a space to be kept out of sight but a showcase of human expertise and creativity. The almost sacred nature of the place is reflected in the quality and care devoted to the details,” explained the architects. These details likewise consist of coloured-body porcelain with a 23% content of recycled material.
The natural surface is lightly textured, reproducing a trowelled look with Lux gloss/matt effects.

The baking area becomes a key part of the space, rendered all the more appealing by this “filigreed ceramic cladding” that serves as a visually striking backdrop to the frenetic work of the bakers as they knead the dough. The Block cement tiles are also used as furnishing accessories such as tabletops, umbrella stands and original flowerpot saucers. To enhance the burnished hues of the different kinds of bread, the architects chose white furnishing elements and square ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures which also serve as a unifying element for the functional areas of the bakery. “The lighting fixtures seem to expand out from this space,” explain the architects. “This has the dual purpose of reflecting the time sequence of production from baking through to display and underscoring the concept of bread as a symbol of knowledge and civilisation.
These lights extend to the sales counter as a metaphor for the unceasing transmission of knowledge to future generations.”
All around the walls the architects have installed a slender frieze consisting of vertical wooden slats reminiscent of the shape of corn cobs, as if the ceiling were floating on a hundred ears of corn. As a result, the Panificio di San Giuseppe fits perfectly into the baroque style of Ragusa, a perfect blend of old and new that pays tribute to this symbol of human civilisation.

Marazzi, Block
porcelain stoneware
15x15 cm
mix accent white/greige/mocha
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): compliant
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
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