Via Porta Bakehouse

Driven by Via Porta’s burgeoning pastry offer, Via Porta Bakehouse offers a dedicated bakery experience; a place of warmth, familiarity and humility, nestled in Hawthorn’s village precinct. 

The brief for Via Porta Bakehouse called for a charming, site-driven store with a strong connection between retail and preparation spaces; a showcase of Via Porta’s ‘baked on premises’ ethos. The bakehouse was to resemble the original Via Porta’s Italian charm, while also ensuring the design echoed its local context. 

The heritage-listed store, with its ornate, stained-glass façade, intricate timber door, concrete floor and red-brick walls, inspired a minimalist aesthetic layered with tactile materials.

Photography by Sean Fennessy

Upon entry, a timber-framed pastry counter shrouds a curated display of freshly baked product; reaffirming the store’s focus on quality, artisanal baking. The adjoining coffee counter is lined with dusty blue tiles and topped with figured marble in rusted brown shades, melding seamlessly with the russet tones of the building’s exposed brick envelope. 

A timber shelving divider lined with terracotta-toned joinery elegantly frames retail displays, operations and the activity of the pastry kitchen beyond inviting engagement between the bakers, staff and patrons.

The design balances utilitarian materials and the site’s operational needs with a considered approach to detailing and styling. In keeping with Via Porta’s brand ethos, the design’s minimalist foundations are enlivened by crafted, triple-stacked mouldings, expressed junctions and intricate croissant-shaped handles in natural bronze. Earthen ceramics, turned timber bowls, sculpted ornaments and a captivating, photographic artwork of Southern Italy further accentuate Via Porta’s authentic, artisanal narrative. 

While compact in scale, the store’s layout encourages a seamless spatial flow for patrons and staff alike, offering transparency between typically segregated environments. 

The result is a quaint bakehouse; a new local that carefully balances Via Porta’s established brand and Hawthorn’s charming village atmosphere.