This is a climate of extremes – baking hot in the summer and icy cold in the winter. Residents must plan for heatwaves and blizzards alike. It’s winter this time of year so expect a lot of snow and ice. Landscaping and built form must be designed to reflect these conditions.

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Caramel Cocoon Care Clinic

Medical centre focussing on wellness
Marks Barfield Architects

Caramel Cocoon Care Clinic is a building based on biomimicry principles – the idea of copying systems in nature to design buildings which respond to their environment. The shape is a mix of cocoon and a shark’s egg – a mixture of spirals and jagged edges – comforting yet defensive.

The cocoon protects its infant inside, providing shelter from the harsh winters and hot summers. The roof’s steep triangular profile is designed to shed the snow and rain. The slats between the roof create beautiful dappled light inside and shade from the high summer suns.

The building has an almost religious quality – a reminder that when we heal our physical wounds we also need to mend our spirit and soul. The design reflects the extreme fluctuations in weather and temperature found in the Continental zone. The clinic has a giant wind turbine to power the medical centre and some of the surrounding buildings.

The shape of the building creates a protected oasis for wildlife to enjoy – deer, skunks, beavers, bears and birds all congregate happily and can be enjoyed by the medical centre residents.

Marks Barfield Architects are an award-winning practice who have designed iconic structures such as the London Eye and Cambridge Mosque. We aim to build regenerative structures that give back to the environment and society.


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Zero carbon warehouses & shipyard
KMK Architects with Ron Yee

The site is a shipyard for repairing & repurposing old ships to be powered by low carbon means: wind, solar and water. The building is a globe based on the foldable panels of origami, shaped to reflect this year’s football World Cup, with the countries of the world forming a map on parts of the walls.

This map shows a realistic picture of the polar ice caps. The routes of the cargo and ships across the world will move across the surface in real time. The message of the building is to ask the countries of the northern temperate zone to accept responsibility to the Global South for their disproportionate effect on the climate change.

The building is made of low carbon GLT (Ginger Laminated Tart), reinforced with Rye fibres, with windows of tempered sugar* glass, with all materials sourced locally. It is heated (and cooled) via a combination of passive solar gain, photovoltaics, wind/tidal energy and water source heat pumps using the harbour tides. *sugar is the only bio-fuel where energy output exceeds the energy input to produce.

KMK Architects with Ronald Yee
Hannah Yee (head baker)
Fawzia Kane (head taster)
Sarah Roe (head decorator)
Ronald Yee (origamist & designer)

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Cotton Candy College

University Campus

The Cotton Candy College is dedicated to achieving a circular economy, sitting within a campus which adapts and responds to the changing seasons. The main building, home to the Donut Economy Department, reflects this in its cylindrical form and the architecture takes a vernacular approach in the use of local materials. The Smart Cookie Library, SU (Snicker’s Union) and the Lecture ‘Sweet’ surround the central atrium. Pop-up market stalls at the Refresher’s Fair are equally committed to sustainability; reducing waste, by using food grown on campus, reusing local materials and recycling – instead of fast fashion, students buy their clothes from the Pick n’ Mix vintage store. Students can dance the night away at the Berg-daim disco, safe in the knowledge that the music and lights are powered by hydro power – or take a spin on the Twirl ride, and take in the sustainable campus from the sky. Candy College minimizes carbon-intensive construction and focusses on a ‘build less, build smart’ approach that looks to create a series of adaptable, flexible spaces, within a landscape that celebrates biodiversity and the changing of the seasons. A stream between the main building and the lake generates hydro electric energy to power the entire campus, increases biodiversity and uses irrigation channels to hydrate allotments where seasonal vegetables can be grown all year round. The lake provides natural cooling and can be used for water sports in the summer months and becomes a frozen ice-rink in the winter. There are an abundance of fast-growing evergreen trees on the site, which were used in the construction and cladding of the candy college and for the refreshers fair stalls. Any unused material is used as compost in the allotments.

BDP is a major international, interdisciplinary practice of architects, designers, engineers and urbanists. We work closely with users, clients and the community to create special places for living, working and learning across the world. Founded in 1961, we now have studios across the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, UAE, India, and China.


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Grand waterfront festival hall hosting concerts, opera and ballet
Chapman Taylor Manchester

Fudge Festival Hall deliciously depicts the indulgent process of fudge-making through deconstructivism. The Hall celebrates all the edible elements key to the fabrication of fudge and assembles them into an appetising sugar structure. The creamy creation begins at the river, following a traditional recipe treasured by so many, a flowy performance of milk, sugar and butter is brought to the boil by the sweltering summer heat. The continental winter snow cools the molten mixture until its shine fades and thickness builds; the Concert Hall is formed! High continental winds beat the mixture into a smooth dense slab forming a roof to the Theatre Hall, surviving the chilly winter months until the late spring, when it begins to melt away back into the landscape from which it came, only for it all to repeat ready for next year’s festive performances. Fudge Festival Hall reflects a climate that is becoming more and more unpredicatable and is designed to adapt, both to the piping-hot temperatures and brain freezing blizzards. A building that can flourish within such extreme environments is one that is prepared for the climate emergency threatening all our continents. The building’s landmark elevated water tower uses the latest innovations in edible technology to collect, distribute and manage water around the Fudge Festival Hall’s challenging landscape.

Chapman Taylor are a global practice of award-winning architects, masterplanners and interior designers, known for designing places and buildings that are both creative and successful. Established in 1959, We operate from 14 design studios in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, working in over 100 countries.


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Library and waterside cafe
UHA London

The Liquorice Library acts as a hot spring, a warm haven for relaxation, reflection, and conversation. Its molten qualities encourage exploration with literary labyrinths and breakout spaces framing moments of bright, colourful release onto the internal courtyard. Founded by a Dane, who eats a lot of liquorice, UHA approach planning at a neighbourhood & city scale based around the idea of contextually considerate design that centres on community and blurred use classes. The majority of their projects fall in tropical and arid climates so they wanted to revisit the challenges posed by the extreme seasonal variation the Budapest-based team are only too familiar with. Designed using CLT with glulam beams the library has a low-carbon diet. The combination of all natural locally sourced materials makes for a low upfront carbon and the use of only one light fitting in the shallow, layered plan gives high performance with low operational carbon. Protection from the baking heat of summer is provided by the offsetting of continuous horizontal bands of timber bookshelves with the overhanging slabs and louvre system providing protection from harmful UV rays whilst allowing the building fabric to breathe, expand, and contract.

A 24-hour global studio of architects, urbanists, & designers collaborating across 7 offices. We design and deliver projects that vary in context, function, and scale, encompassing architecture, master planning, and interior design. From concept design to turnkey, we have projects on-site from London to Mumbai, covering boutique residential to high-tech workspace.


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Sustainable Community Park
House of Kin

Pick n Mix Park reimagines what a park can be, and does so with playful energy. This is not just a park; it’s a gallery, it’s a pollinator, it’s a power plant, and it’s a memory creator! House of Kin believes that spaces don’t have to be boxed in by their function, and that we have an opportunity to build a better and more playful future. The boating lake provides a much needed natural respite from a hard urban landscape, and at the same time generates hydro power when needed. The carousel harks back to the most classic of play things yet is wind powered, giving excess energy back to the grid. The sky walk provides stunning panoramic views, yet also makes the raised level fully accessible. The imposing cliff face is made of doughnuts, with the curved gingerbread skywalk path tracking you all the way to the top for breathtaking views. Supporting the skywalk and creating a buffer to the railway are sticks of rock, with a full sized boating lake providing hydro power to the site when needed. Most importantly, little visitors seeking excitment are spoilt for choice. Whether it’s a ride on the fruit polo donut slide, a glacier mint maze to get lost in, or a wind powered shrimp carousel to spin the hours away, the spaces will create memories that last. Ultimately, Pick n Mix Park challenges convention and plays with the use of space to achieve a truly unique play park environment.

House of Kin is the only design studio focussing solely on creating spaces, installations and art for play inspired projects. We purposefully defy user expectations in a playful way, snapping them out of everyday routines to surprise and delight in some small way. We challenge stereotypes and conventional wisdom about ‘kids design’ and deliver settings and products that are truly unique.



Rainbow Rail Station

Central Train Station

Rainbow Rail Station was previously constructed 100 years ago leaving a beautifully crafted, early Renaissance station building with intricate detailing and architectural décor. However, in recent years the station has become more integrated into the city and the introduction of new rail links required its expansion. A new contemporary, colourful atrium and platform canopy, which gives the iconic building its name, create a grand arrival space welcoming new visitors to the city. The surrounding area has been re-modelled to create a beautiful landscape for everyone to enjoy. For the construction, all laser cutting and modern techniques have been kept to a minimum. To create the grand atrium, NBBJ used silicon molds to form the great rainbow shards and then melted sugar into them to give the striking effect when light is shone through them. NBBJ chose the Continental zone because it allowed them to make use of traditional structures which are common in these regions but also incorporate additional contemporary forms.They were keen to landscape so, given the local climate, they could fill the site with trees, water features and really express the essence of the region through natural elements.

We are NBBJ and we create healthy places, strong communities and a resilient environment, all while helping clients create lasting change.

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Taffy Townhouses


TateHindle create the townhouses of tomorrow by imagining houses that utilise the wet climate of the Continental zone. Ponds are incoporated to boost ecology as well as providing an opportunity for rainwater harvesting. They were particularly interested in the Continetal zone for its constraints around creating sustainable energies that don’t always rely on solar. Check out the candy green roofs – a hotspot for wildlife and bee friendly!

We are architects and urbanists, design custodians of places where people can live, work and enjoy every shade of life in between.


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The Frosted Fort Arts Centre

Frosted Island Fort, former island fortress, now an arts venue.
Corstorphine & Wright

Inspired by an iceberg, and semi-submerged underwater, the upper levels of The Frosted Fort Arts Centre have been salvaged to create an arts venue. The reinvigoration of a previously abandoned fort into a space of recreation, well-being and artistic expression will encourage a rise in tourism to the area and also benefit the community’s young people. Just like a real iceberg there is more occurring under the surface than you might expect. Although we cannot access these submerged levels safely, this area of ‘ginger-dead’ is a reminder of what is lost and a unifying representation of protecting what we have left. By retrofitting this building, rather than tearing it down, Corstorphine & Wright are allowing it to respond constructively to climate change. As an island nation, rising sea levels prove to be of substantial potential risk, especially for our towns and cities built next to the sea or near large rivers. Frosted Island Fort questions how to design buildings that stand the test of time in fast-changing climates?

Corstorphine & Wright is an award-winning AJ100 top 25 architectural practice with 11 design studios across the UK. Using our insight-led approach and drawing on experience from our 250+ strong team, we help invigorate communities, excite stakeholders, and maximise value in both brick and mortar, timber and gingerbread.


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Landmark Venue
Foster + Partners

The Ice Stadium emerges from the ground, and is in total harmony with its surroundings. Continental climate zones deal with extreme heat and extreme cold seasons, even more so given the effects of climate change and global warming. The Ice Stadium has been designed to host successful events all year round providing thermal comfort to everyone with minimal energy consumption. Foster + Partners’ design adapts to its terrain, avoids large amounts of cut & fill and utilises raw material found on site to make up for the majority of its fabric (Gingerbread). The seating terraces are graded and formed so they not only serve the spectators but also act as a foundation for the Stadium’s envelope, minimising the need for additional structure. Foster + Partners believe that raising awarenes on positive solutions to climate change is very important. This can only happen by understanding the site specifics and the whole-life carbon footprint of everything needed to build, operate our venues, even decomssioning! Which in this case for the Stadium means eating it!

Our team this year comes from all around the practice. We’re not just architects, we are Venues’ Specialist Designers, Specialist Modelers, Document Controlers, Facility Managers, Sustainability Coordinators; but above all, we’re all Baking Enthusiasts!


VOTE for The Ice Stadium

Three Sustainable Towers

One Modular Tower & Two Mass
Timber Tree Towers
Elliott Wood Partnership

Elliott Wood Partnership have built three towers which base themselves on sustainable construction methods. The two tree towers are built with Glulam Timber gingerbread which support the circular slabs.The third and largest tower is inspired by modular design – an efficient design process which reduces waste and can be quickly built on site saving on time. In an extreme climate sustainability and innovation are often at the forefront of the agenda as the impacts are clearly felt. Elliott Wood Partnership wanted to create a snowy winter scene with a sustainable agenda where the residents of the gingerbread city can live, work and play. The key elements in the Tree Towers are the boomerang shaped engineered timber wings which are sized proportionality to support the slab above whilst transferring the loads back to the foundations.

We are Engineers who deliver on better. Driven by strategic consultancy with creative and technical problem-solving, we act as originators, advisors and doers for the built environment. We inspire clients and organisations to think differently about their spaces – not just aesthetically and commercially – but for the benefit of the planet and the people who use them every day.


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Explore other climate zones

The Museum of Architecture is pleased to debut for the first time outside of the UK its ​hugely popular annual exhibition The Gingerbread City® at

25 Fulton Street in the Seaport

November 18 2023 – January 7 2024



Buy Creative Kits


​Join one of our festive gingerbread house-making workshops taking place every day during the exhibition. Advance booking is essential.