100 architects create city of gingerbread at London’s Somerset House

100 architects create city of gingerbread at London’s Somerset House

June 5th, 2020|

Over 100 of the UK’s leading architects and designers have come together to create The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City 2019. Trading concrete and wood for dough and sweets they have designed and built a futuristic mini-city, which explores the theme transport and how we might move around our cities in years to come.

Opening to the public on Saturday 7 December 2019 at London’s iconic Somerset House, the City is constructed entirely from gingerbread and confectionery and includes high-rise buildings, office blocks and apartments, a university, stadium, tram station, urban farm, park and ferry terminal, five bridges, cycle ways and pedestrian paths. There are reinterpretations of well-known landmarks like ‘Battersea Sugar Power Station’, ‘Gingerbread Modern’, ‘Sugarset House’, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus as well as a moving train.

Based on a masterplan developed by Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, The Gingerbread City champions sustainable design ideas and innovation on a mini scale.

Speaking about this year’s City, Melissa Woolford, founder and director of Museum of Architecture, said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to bring The Gingerbread City to life again this year. We have over 100 top UK architects and designers taking part – showcasing innovative and sustainable design ideas – with the aim of getting people thinking about their built environment and how we want to live in our cities. The Gingerbread City exhibition supports our year-round work as an architectural charity, and this year, sees us able to set up a grant-giving fund so we can support more public-facing and entrepreneurial projects.”

Hilary Satchwell, director Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, said: “The Gingerbread City is a really important project for Tibbalds because of the way it makes everyone who visits think about cities and what they mean.  It prompts questions about the many things that designers and placemakers have to deal with in creating interesting places that work for those that use them.  This year the focus on transport and the opportunities that active travel and good connections can have on wellbeing and health when carefully planned into our places is something we are particularly passionate about. Fast, fun, edible urbanism is a great way into some important discussions about the value of place.”

The Gingerbread City is an annual exhibition now in its fourth year. Organised by Museum of Architecture, its aim is to connect the public with architecture in an exciting way, and spark important conversations around cities and how we live in them. Visitors can peek inside sectional buildings, understand how city planners interact with natural landscapes and be inspired by the creativity and dexterity of some of the UK’s top
architects and designers.

Some of this year’s buildings:

London Landmarks
Gingerbread Modern by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
Perching on the banks of the London Quarter island, Gingerbread Modern is the transformation of the decommissioned power station and Henry Tate’s humble sugar into a beautiful edible
gingerbread wonderland.
Oxford Circus by Arup Architects
A reinterpretation of this busy intersection, where Londoners and tourists have shopped for years. What will the future hold as online shopping and drones become increasingly common?

Sugarset House by Hawkins \ Brown
Re-interpretation of Somerset House, including St Mary Le Strand Church, the courtyard with ice-rink and Christmas tree. The building makes use of a network of sugary waterways in the London Quarter, and its proximity to the Thames to harness hydroelectric power.

Battersea Sugar Power Station by Michaelis Boyd
Battersea Power Station completely reimagined in gingerbread from the Interior Architect of 254 new apartments inside the real Battersea Power Station.

Travel innovation
London Bridge Roll Station by Grimshaw Architects
A grand station – the main rail interchange within the cultural quarter, with highly sculptural roof and illuminated spaces below.

Pink Wafter Bridge by Johanna Molineus Architects
Pushing the boundaries of sugar engineering – the bridge uses sugar to form a series interconnected hyperbolic paraboloids and parabolic vaults to form of bridge of fantasy.

Thames Monorail Main Station by Horden Cherry Lee Architects
Powered by the River Thames, the monorail is a fast-moving transport system to provide links between Heathrow to Central London, with the opportunity to take in key London landmarks along the way.

The Palace of Light by BDP
The Palace has been adapted into a solar tower, transferring reflected light into clean energy for the entire city. Positioned at the city’s highest point, the Palace is now a central hub of zero carbon transportation, utilising electric drone taxis and bikes docked at ‘charging trees’.

Waffle Iron Tower and Sugar Loaf Mountain Gondola Pass by PLP Architecture
Air traffic control tower, interspersed with viewing platforms, orbiting transporters and training pods. Prototype transport models are tested in the adjacent Gondola Pass.

Carousel by Grid
A place where people can live, work and play in the same building without the need for transportation. Inhabitants live in their dwellings and access their workplace and communal spaces housed within a revolving hub above.

Sugar Plum Square by PHASE3 Architecture
Holistic homes for local Gingerbreadians! A futuristic re-interpretation of the traditional Georgian Square with a pedestrian public space surrounded by terraced houses.

Kugelhopf House by Hildrey Studio
Homeless shelter making use of a circular economy where income from those fortunate enough to be housed can go towards funding the care of those working their way up.

Eton Mess Market by Finkernagel Ross
Sustainable food market is a pop-up vegan’s playground.

Sussex Pond Villas by Pilbrow and Partners
A fusion of past and present by linking together a variety of medieval houses and presenting a modern twist on traditional shared living.

Fig Roll Terrace by Fuse Architects
Front gardens provide cycle parking and electric vehicle charging points, rear gardens provide space for playing and food production.

Exhibition: The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City 2019
Tickets: www.somersethouse.org

Museum of Architecture Instagram: @MuseumofArchitecture
Museum of Architecture Twitter: @MoA_News
Hashtag: #TheGingerbreadCity2019

The Gingerbread City by Museum of Architecture is sponsored by Finsa UK, Tibbalds Urban Planning and Design, London Communications Agency and Phos.