The fully lit, edible Gingerbread City includes everything from a cinema, library, and school to a city farm and a museum.
Photo: Luke Hayes

Top Architects Design Incredible Gingerbread City at the V&A

Firms including Zaha Hadid Architects and Foster + Partners contributed to the innovative project

London’s Museum of Architecture enlisted an array of top architects, engineers, and designers to create a model of a “future city,” which is now on view at the famed V&A in South Kensington. The catch? It had to be made entirely of gingerbread.

The fully lit, edible Gingerbread City includes everything from a cinema, library, and school to a city farm, museum, sports stadium, and botanical gardens. There are skyscrapers, riverside homes, landmarks, green roofs, bridges, and bicycle lanes.

Based on a master plan developed by Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, the miniature metropolis aims to champion sustainable design concepts and innovation on a smaller scale.

The sprawling Gingerbread City. Photo: Luke Hayes

Exhibition highlights include a futuristic High Line called SugarLoop by Apt—a green corridor with an elevated and twisted platform of light rail, cable car, cyclist, and pedestrian routes. Foster + Partners used a robot to construct a complex-shaped pavilion building. Holland Harvey Architects created a hopeful vision featuring a contemporary homeless shelter with community café, local shop, and affordable work space, which hopes to draw attention to the 7,500 people sleeping rough on the streets of London each year.

Recommended: See How the Royal Family Decorated for Christmas at Buckingham Palace

Hopkins Architects made a Bakewell Bridge, which features a design of continuous gingerbread men representing different cultures. Stanton Williams contributed a Museum of Architec-sugar. Candy waterfalls cascade over cliffs to drive a toffee turbine generating clean power at Stride Treglown’s Ice Cream Infirmary and Gingerbread Gardens. And Zaha Hadid Architects created an opera house inspired by the undulating layers so often found in the firm’s work.

“We need to be looking forward in terms of how we make our cities better for all that live and work in them,” Hilary Satchwell, director at Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design Ltd, said in a statement. “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!”

See below for a closer look at Gingerbead City.

The third annual exhibition is open through January 6, 2019, at V&A South Kensington, Cromwell Road, London.

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