Studio Wok designs Japanese-inspired bakery | PAN opens in Milan

Sprinkling a dash of Japanese culture into a lively Milan neighbourhood, Studio Wok has designed a minimal bakery that also doubles up as a kitchen and a wine bar.

Situated in the Risorgimento area of Milan in Italy, this Japanese bakery named PAN tempts visitors inside with the waft of its fresh-from-the-oven pastries and loaves. Its generous chestnut wood-framed windows, edged in galvanised sheet metal, serve as an architectural lens and create a ‘threshold’ between the domesticity if the bakery and the bustling urban life outside. 

The idea behind the inviting eatery, was born from a collaboration between Japanese chef Yogi Tokuyoshi and Alice Yamada, with an aim to make Japanese food and cultural more accessible around the world. Consequently, PAN is designed as a multifunctional space where customers can dine at all hours, from breakfast to evening aperitvo. 

Studio Wok has infused architectural references to culture throughout the design, which also subtly complements the chef’s cuisine. The intention was to add depth through layers, working on the concept of quality, both in materials and in detailed craftsmanship. 

A rough-hewn boulder in natural stone celebrates imperfect beauty and adds emphasis to the water-filling ritual

“The interior of PAN features two souls: the bar and the bakery,” explains Studio Wok. “The bar area has sober nuances, which see the black-dyed chestnut wood of the counter and the stainless steel inserts as the main characters.”

Neutral-hued walls throughout serve as a quiet backdrop to the two bold and highly functional counters – one for the bakery and the other for the bar. While distinct in their purpose, these two elements coexist, separated but linked by a wooden bench that runs the full-length between them. 

“The bread counter emerges as the protagonist and has its material anticipation in the external bench. Made from green fibreglass grill panels, it’s a small architectural piece that inhabits the space and reacts with natural light,” adds the team at Studio Wok.

Bold and eye-catching, the bread counter is fabricated from green fibreglass grid panels and it serves as a striking focal point. This viridescent hue is mirrored in the noren, the traditional Japanese hanging fabric dividers, that transform the space with their ethereal and mesmirising quality. 

Delicate and beautiful in their aesthetic, the noren panels interact with the changing natural light and form a three-dimensional feature that continually renews the atmosphere within the bakery. 

It’s essentially a place where Japan and Milan meet, a neighbourhood bar where delicious food, good company, and beautiful craftsmanship can come together in harmony – bliss!

Project details:

Client: PAN Milano

Location: Milan, via Cicognara 19

Size: 70 sq. m

Architects: Studio Wok

Collaborators: Claudia Begni

Interior products and stockists: Fioroni (interior fittings and windows); Emmevi Edil Service (construction and facilities); Resinarc (resin floors and walls); La Calce del Brenta (wall finishes); Woak (Nervosa chairs and stools by Francesco Faccin); Quadro (faucets); Wrap and Wall (printed fabric); Egoluce, Vesoi, and Olev (lighting)

Photography: Simone Bossi

A wall and sliding system features a wood-framed structure with translucent pressed cellulose panels

Learn more about the dedicated architectural projects of Studio Wok, which are led by the concept of habitat.

If you like this, take a look at more restaurant design news and inspiration here on enki, including the Nomo Kyoto pop-up restaurant.

Also, read all about the spruce wood-designed Tea House Pavilion by GRAU Architects, which is an architectural space designed for tea ceremony gatherings.


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