Museum of Architecture

Museum of Architecture

London, GB


The Gingerbread City

By Museum of Architecture
Dec 11, '17 5:35 AM EST

Photo by Luke Hayes

The Museum of Architecture is pleased to announce the second edition of its successful Gingerbread City project, a fundraising exhibition that brings together architects, urban planners and landscape designers to design a city made entirely of gingerbread. Returning to the museum district in South Kensington from 6 until 22 December 2017, where last year’s edition attracted over 16,000 visitors, the exhibition

both local and international visitors for a festive exploration of architecture and design. Alongside the exhibition, the Museum of Architecture will also be running family gingerbread house-making workshops. This year, a number of prominent architecture practices have joined the project, among which: Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster and Partners, Ian Ritchie Architects, Mae, MaccreanorLavington Architects, Featherstone Young, RCKa and Carl Turner Architects.

The aim of The Gingerbread City is to create an imaginary city that would invite the general public to engage in a playful and unusual way with contemporary architecture and design. Based on a masterplan developed by Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, the imaginary gingerbread city seeks to open discussions about the way architecture impacts the way we live and work, drawing on contemporary discussions about what makes a healthy city. The exhibition hopes to shape an engaging platform that can serve as an introduction to broader discussions about architecture and urbanism today. The museum’s director, Melissa Woolford states: “At the Museum of Architecture, we are working to create a positive relationship between people and their city. Through The Gingerbread City, we want to inspire people to care about how their city is taking shape and what impact the built environment has on the way they live.”

Photo by Luke Hayes

Extending the discussion beyond the exhibition itself, members of the general public will be able to join family gingerbread house-making workshops where they can learn more about designing buildings and develop creative design skills over the course of a festive afternoon. For the workshops, MoA will be providing visitors with materials to build and decorate their own gingerbread house that will draw inspiration from the rich design and architecture display of the exhibition itself. The workshops are part of a broader mission for the museum to bridge the gap between the architecture discipline and the general public.

In the words of Melissa Woolford, “Gingerbread City is a way for us to bring people who otherwise might not engage with city design and get them involved in the conversation. Whether it is children learning about various building types to adults sharing new ideas about creating healthier spaces, we want to take this opportunity to get people excited about architecture and empower them with knowledge to bring into their everyday lives.”

Photo by Luke Hayes

For The Gingerbread City exhibition, each participating architecture practice is invited to select a plot on the city – that includes landmark buildings such as a museum, town hall, bridge, school, stadium, as well as housing and landscape sites – and respond to the brief set by Tibbalds. Architects and designers will then bake and build their gingerbread designs to be included in the exhibition. MoA will give three prizes for the best designs, selected by two expert committees as well as the public vote.

The new edition of The Gingerbread City builds on from last year’s successful project that saw over 60 architects – Foster and Partners, Carl Turner, vPPR, Mae, Michaelis Boyd, Hopkins, Finkernagel Ross, and many more – design unconventional and elaborate buildings made entirely out of gingerbread. Last year’s winners were: NBBJ, Platform 5 Architects, Foster and Partners.

Photo by Luke Hayes


While the Gingerbread City serves to present the extraordinary richness of contemporary architecture to the general public, it is also an important income stream for the charity’s year-long programme of events that aim to help the public better engage with architecture. MoA’s thematic programming presents a series of evening panel discussions about key topics facing architecture and design and their impact on the society at large. The current programme, ‘Undervalued’, explores the economics

models in urban development. The Gingerbread City supports MoA’s philosophy of creating unconventional ways for the public to better engage with architecture, whilst challenging architects to explore new opportunities for innovation.

Tickets for the exhibition and workshops are on-sale now, and early booking is advised.

Full list of participating architects:

4M Group, Alexandra Steed Urban, Architecture for London, Assael Architecture, Assorted Skills + Talents* \ Ministry of Miniatures, Aukett Swanke, BBUK Studio, Bell Phillips Architects, Burwell Architects, Carl Turner Architects, Cove Burgess Architects, Emrys Architects, EPR Architects, Expedition Engineering, Featherstone Young,

Ian Ritchie Architects, KSS Design Group, Mae, Maccreanor & Lavington Architects, Make-Good, Manser Practice, Matthew Lloyd Architects LLP, Marko & Placemakers, Michael Dales Partnership, Michaelis Boyd Architects, Mikhail Riches, Moreno Masey, Nash Baker Architects, NBBJ, Periscope, Phase3 Architects, Pitman Tozer, PLP Architecture, rcka, reForm Architects, Seven Architecture, Steer Davies Gleave, Studio C102, Stride Treglown, TateHindle, Tibbalds, Zaha Hadid Architects

Gingerbread House-making Workshops

Families can make their own gingerbread house by signing up for MoA’s fun family workshops taking place from the 9-22 December. Morning: 10:30am - 12:00pm Mid day: 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Afternoon: 3:30pm - 5:00pm

Cost: £30/house (incl VAT) All children must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the workshop. Maximum two children per adult as adults will be needed to help hold the gingerbread in place while the icing sets.

The Workshops include: Ready made gingerbread, cookies, icing and sweets to make one house per child for to take home.