Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City opens at the V&A

Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City opens at the V&A

April 12th, 2019|

Top architects, engineers and designers have come together to build a ‘future city’ of over 60 buildings – made entirely from gingerbread.  Now on show at the V&A Museum,  the Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City is an architectural feast of city planning.

Visitors can expect the unconventional and elaborate as they explore a mini, edible city which is fully-lit and includes everything from a cinema, library and school to a city farm, museum, sports stadium and botanical gardens.  There are skyscraper office blocks, riverside homes, landmarks, green roofs, bridges and cycles ways.

The exhibition, which opens on Saturday 8 December, aims to connect the public with architecture in an exciting way. Visitors can peak 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.  Based on a masterplan developed by Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, Gingerbread City champions sustainable design ideas and innovation on a mini scale.

Exhibition highlights include: a futuristic high line called SugarLoop by Apt – a green corridor with elevated and twisted platform of light rail, cable car, cyclist and pedestrian routes. Foster + Partners have stretched the boundaries of gingerbread baking to construct an exciting and complex-shaped pavilion building, all with the help of a robot. Holland Harvey Architects bring a hopeful vision with a design for an attractive, contemporary homeless shelter with community cafe, local shop and affordable workspace, which draws attention to the 7,500 people sleeping rough on the streets of London each year.  

Hopkins Architects will be ‘Baking the world a better place’ with their Bakewell Bridge, which features a design of continuous gingerbread men representing different cultures.  LSI Architects have created the Hot Cross Pub and micro-brewery with ‘grow your own hops’ green walls to support the sustainable brewing process. PDP Londons ‘Curdzon Cinema’ is an outdoor cinema and lemon farm with hydroponics centre to power the screen.  Candy Peaks by PLP Architecture is one of the City’s most prominent environmental structures and air purifier. Crystal Towers by NBBJ elevates green spaces high into the sky with its layers of vegetation and artificial waterfalls. Stanton Williams’ ‘Museum of Architec-sugar’ takes visitors on a journey through the history of architecture.  Fructose falls cascade over crispy cliffs to drive a toffee turbine generating clean power at Stride Treglown’s Ice Cream Infirmary and Gingerbread Gardens. Zaha Hadid Architects have created an opera house design inspired by layering and stacking that is so often found in the practices work.

The Gingerbread City is an annual exhibition organised by the Museum of Architecture, which invites architects, designers and engineers to celebrate the festive season by creating an entire city from gingerbread. To celebrate this year’s exhibition, families can have a go at building their own gingerbread houses at a series of workshops hosted by the Museum of Architecture.  

Melissa Woolford, Founder and Director of the Museum of Architecture said: “It’s another thrilling year for Gingerbread City.  The architects and designers have worked long through the night to bring us their best design ideas. They have practiced their bakes and made every blob of icing count.  It has all come together to make a futuristic, inclusive and sustainable city on a mini-scale.”

Hilary Satchwell, Director at Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design Ltd, said: “We need to be looking forwards in terms of how we make our cities better for all that live and work in them. It has been really exciting this year to set the Gingerbread City 2018 theme around how our future cities might work.  For Tibbalds this isn’t about some dystopian vision about the future but about how real places can work for all of us and how we can live in well designed, attractive and lively places – and ideally that are a bit more long lasting than these gingerbread ones!”