dongqi turned a building in Shenzhen into a new concept bakery and developed its visual identity. The team named the space GAGA TOAST and proposed a ‘More Than Toast’ narrative. GAGA TOAST is not only a bakery that offers delicious toast, but also a gathering space full of toast elements. Toast elements permeated the space, whose design was centered around a special shaped brick. At the same time, the creative team worked closely with the architects to custom-make the element into the fundamental element of our visual identity as it conveyed the brand’s belief in authentic ingredients.
Both being shaped in a metal mold and produced in a high-temperature environment, the process of brick making is intrinsically related to that of toast baking. Also, being a heat-insulating material itself, the brick setting implies an atmosphere of bread baking. Caused by the heat, the brick revealed a texture difference between the edge and the central area when being cut open, which coincided with the appearance of toast crust. Working closely with craftsmen, dongqi created a unique toast texture on the brick surface. The aggregates were elaborately combined with concrete to form a unique surface finishing.
Different combinations were designed for different functions and were applied throughout the entire space—-from the wall to the floor, from the counter to the merchandise display, as well as the moveable retail fixtures. The metal mold, which was used to shape the brick, was reserved too. It was turned into a plate for brand-related materials and merchandise display.
The external façade, which was turned into a full-length sliding door thanks to the pleasant climate in Shenzhen, also contributed to the unique spatial experience. The custom-made door can be slid closed or open to any extent based on the weather, blurring the boundary between indoor and outdoor space.
dongqi’s branding approach carries on the ‘More Than Toast’ experience of customers. Under a carefully curated colour scheme, the customized shape was extended into a toast-fitting pattern system, which helped turn the bakery into a space of toast. The brand-owned monograms, patterns, and graphics were generated and applied to various touch-points ranging from print materials to digital content, from furniture to promotional materials, from packaging to products – almost everything you can imagine. The visual language is friendly, bold, and delicious, encouraging people to gather together for a chat over freshly baked toasts. This unique design approach closed the gap between the brand experience and the spatial experience, making GAGA TOAST an ideal place for gatherings, inspiration, laughter, and simply, a good life. Toast to life. GAGA TOAST.
Interior Designers: dongqi Architects
Design Team: Nan Jiang, Yuan Yuan, Jinfan Xie, Zhang Shuang, Jie Song, Kiko Yuan, Xian Min Chia, Timothy Cheng
Photographs: Raitt Liu