Photography: Thomas Meyer / Ostkreuz

Gluten-free loaves and pastries are served from a soothing all-blue backdrop at AERA in Berlin’s Mitte, which pay homage to the paintings of Jan Vermeer.

Gonzalez Haase designs AERA’s latest outlet. The duo stripped its 70 sqm space back to basics and liberally doused it in ultramarine paint – a colour the Dutch master famously clothed his female subjects in, such as the ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’, ‘The Milkmaid’ and ‘Woman Reading’.

Lapis Lazuli was an ultra-expensive pigment back in the 17th century, making Vermeer’s paintings pop amid his contemporaries’ dark and moody Baroque works. AERA borrows the same trick: it’s almost impossible to miss the vibrant space whose walls, ceilings and floor are drenched in the colour.

The bakery’s concrete counter has also been coloured with the pigment, though the practice has softened the overall effect through clever use of texture. A row of simple wooden stools and tables help take the edge off.

Ultramarine was a colour used in Vermeer's paintings
Photography: Thomas Meyer / Ostkreuz

AERA was founded by actress Ava Çelik and aims to make the best gluten-free bread in the world – indistinguishable from traditional gluten-containing recipes. It’s the brand’s second outpost in Berlin, and the bakery offers other gluten-free options such as granola, amaretti, and sesame-miso cookies.

Rosenthaler Str. 72, 10119 Berlin

Aera Bread's Mitte outpost is the brand's second in Berlin
Photography: Thomas Meyer / Ostkreuz
Strip lighting keeps things simple
Aera Bäckerei in Berlin Mitte. Design by Gonzalez Haase AAS
The space has no adornments allowing the colour to really do all of the work
Photography: Thomas Meyer / Ostkreuz

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