Architects can expect to be challenged by dangerously low temperatures and where there is little to no daylight during many months. While it’s cold outside, there is also a strong, sparsely populated, community here, and space for people to gather and celebrate their island is essential in an isolated context. In an extremely cold climate, it is important that forms are built with sturdy materials to reduce deterioration and to keep heat in.

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Between a Rock and a Hard Plaice

A traditional Swedish fishing hut
Harris Bugg Studio

Harris Bugg Studio’s traditional Swedish fishing hut is a simple house shaped hut on stilts. It sits on a small plot of land near the sea. They’ve imagined that a fisher woman called Simona Reeves lives there. She spends her time fishing and exploring the ice cold ocean and witnesses the wildlife dramas that play out on the rocky beach below her house. Life is challenging but her relationship with the place and landscape is strong.Our planet and landscapes are degrading in response to the climate crisis. The polar regions are being disproportionately affected. Harris Bugg Studio wanted to think about what these changes mean and why. They were inspired by how extreme and harsh the landscape was.

We are a values-driven landscape design practice, with projects encompassing historic, residential, commercial, botanic, and public spaces. Our aim is to connect people and nature, fulfilling a profound and innate need in all of us, and to do so responsibly with careful, considered use of materials and plants.



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Chillin’ at the Beach

HUT Architecture

The Chillin’ at the Beach clients are penguins, whose lives are under threat from all sorts of different directions.As if being eaten by a pack of scheming killer whales wasn’t bad enough, they’re now finding that the sea-ice they live on is melting due to climate change. HUT architecture have created the perfect penguin sanctuary – a place where penguin surf dudes are safe from marine predators, and with floating structures made up of driftwood and other human litter, all their holiday needs are taken care of. They’ve imagined the landscape as a place with food shacks, an Orca lookout tower, and of course slides and surf chutes. Penguin evolution has made them suited to the polar climate, a climate slowly declining due to the lavish and careless activities of humans.The colony of emperor penguins that occupy this site in the Arctic face three major problems – predatorial orca packs, melting ice and litter floating in the sea. To provide safety and comfort on the iceberg there is a seaside penguin playscape which uses the natural form of the ice to create slides, surf chutes and diving cliffs. There are also a selection food huts to choose from including the “Crustacean Station”, “The Krill Grill”, and let’s not forget “Squids for Kids”!

HUT make places to live, work and play that are sustainable not just in terms of their embodied and operational energy, but also in their broader social context. Ours is a diverse, design-centric, and democratic studio environment. We support local schools, lecture at universities, and engage in place-making within our broader community.



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Emergency Eggflip

Arctic frosting research station
hcl Architects

The huddle of Egg research pods will collect climate change, ice movement data and be carbon positive – producing coolth from solar energy. The eggs soar above the icing-bergs displaying marvellous views for visitors and bringing awareness to the research needed to save this precious frosted kingdom. The eggs are the centre of research operations in the Arctic. Sitting on skis creates a flexible nature, allowing adaptation to the landscape whilst also learning from it. One of the pods holds the international expo, developed in collaboration with the candy-cane communities to show how they harnessed the weather and climate to thrive. Gingerbread explorers are connected across the kingdom through ski jumps and slides, enhancing the dramatic level change of the site. What happens in the Arctic will affect us all and this climate zone provides a way for hcl Architects to explore and immerse themselves in this snowy climate. The ‘eggflips’ express the need to track change and reverse our actions from heating to cooling the planet. Eggflip Recipe• 1 cup milk• 1 tsp vanilla extract• 1 egg• 1 tsp sugar• Grated Nutmeg Place all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously or you can blend in a blender.Pour into a chilled glass and shake nutmeg on top. Perhaps add Rum or Whiskey if you’re over 18! The tip of the Eggflips hold observatories, overlooking the Iced Gem Nations allowing visitors to fly above the clouds, and then learn about the landscape with a greater appreciation.The base of the egg stores the bulk of the data monitoring ice movement, encased in a highly engineered, geometric/diagrid structure that can withstand the strongest winds and snowstorms. The structure is interspersed with colourful geometric solar panels – producing a beacon for the penguins to huddle around.The geometric gingerbread structure is the arctic’s first carbon positive station utilizing solar technology, passive building technologies and a smart grid for maximizing energy efficiency.

Our international architectural practice is in London, where our diverse team ofArchitectural and support staff is based with over 10 nationalities represented. We believe firmly in the importance of recruiting and investing in the right people. It is integral to the success of our work that not only are our staff technically capable of delivering a project, but that they have the personality and approach that engages with clients and consultants, enriches our work, and adds special value to each proposal.



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FISH_DO Arctic Harbour

Fishing Market + Harbour

Arctic communities are fighting for their future. Climate change and ecological collapse—caused, in part, by industrial food production and overfishing—are threatening their way of life as well as the physical existence of the places in which they live. The FISH_DO arctic harbour is working hard to promote a more sustainable future: powered by renewables, the market hall is a piece of social infrastructure, and a place for the whole community to come together. The Extinction Rebellion protest, and the presence of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior set the tone: Save Our Seas. The arctic is one of the most at risk places from climate change and one of the lowest carbon contributors. A waterfront arctic site gave IF_DO an opportunity to explore the relationship with the water and how communities can thrive in extreme living conditions. (We also thought that large volumes of icing might be quite forgiving to work with!) The market hall is the social heart of the community: where people gather to buy their fish from local fishermen, and to get the local gossip. The harbour is powered by wind turbines and there is a weather balloon because the town needs to keep an eye on the ever-changing conditions. There is also a lighthouse to guide the boats back safely to the harbour.

IF_DO is a close team of GBBO enthusiasts who hold each other to the highest standards of sugar work. We believe architecture (and baking) has the power to improve lives and make communities happier and stronger. We have a knack for building relationships, making gingerbread and delivering projects with people at their heart.



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Frozen Beauty

Frozen lake in the North Pole with
local activities
Simone de Gale

Simone de gale have built a frozen lake which depicts the current conditions of the North Pole with the impact of climate change. Central to the design is the melting iceberg which disseminates into broken ice over the lake. The bubbled ice area and isolated polar bears show the habitation conditions which our daily acts contribute to. Across the iceberg on the other side of the lake, we see the human activity which is being impacted by climate changes. Local, community activities of fishing, ice-skating, pontoon-ing, walking, are at risk as the climate impact worsens every day. The question of frozen beauty is capturing a moment in time, one we may not have in the future and draws the visitors attention to the realities we practice as a society. The Polar zone was attractive as it goes to the heart of climate changes. The Pole location is where climate change begins with melting icecaps contributing to rising sea levels, developing into flooding and dissipation of land areas further around the earths’ hemisphere. The colour palette was particularly of interest because of hues of blues and whites, for a wintery approach as we head towards the festive season. The ‘hands across the world’ circle of iced people shows hope for the future and an symbol of togetherness as we attempt to combat climate change.

Simone de Gale Architects are based in Belgravia, London, UK. Ranked on Spear’s 500 Index ‘Top Recommended Architect 2022’. Winner ‘Architect of the Year’ Women in Construction UK Awards. Simone de Gale’s portfolio consists of super-prime residential, mixed-use schemes, luxury retail and commercial interiors in Central London and Internationally.



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Glacier Mint Plaza

Landscaped waterfront plaza
Chapman Taylor – London

Life in the polar regions isn’t always easy, cold summers and even harsher winters make survival a challenge. But life isn’t just about surviving, so with their design, Chapman Taylor – London have given the surrounding gingerbread communities something to enhance their wellbeing and community. Spaces to gather, express ideas and protest are an important part of a heathy democracy, giving a voice to the inhabitants of the region. Areas for leisure and recreation such as ice skating, saunas and hot tubs, enhance wellbeing and allow for play. The cable car, bridge and walkways provide essential means of circulation around the plaza, with seating allowing residents to pause, rest and interact.The polar regions are warming faster than the rest of the world and could see huge change in our lifetimes. This will affect not only the communities and ecosystems inhibiting our polar regions but also weather patterns, casting a vast influence across the globe. The polar regions also present a unique challenge, in creating liveable communities in hostile climatic conditions.

Chapman Taylor is a global practice of award-winning architects, masterplanners and interior designers, known for designing places and buildings that are both creative and successful. We operate from 14 design studios and have successfully delivered over 3,000 major projects across five continents in over 100 countries.



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Honeycomb Houses

A series of houses for researchers
and visitors
ADP Architecture

A series of pitched roof houses that surround the community winter garden and a ski-slope for both researchers and visitors. ‘Energy corner’ powers this self-sufficient community with the wind turbines and wave power. The ski-slope attracts visitors to the area as well as providing the perfect shelter for community fish drying. ADP took the opportunity to consider the indigenous and vernacular architecture of a climate so different from that of the UK, and a chance to explore the links to nature/marine life of the polar setting.

ADP’s vision is to inspire joy and create thriving communities where people can live, work, learn, play and rest. We view our work through three core lenses: Sustainability, Belonging and Engagement. We are a team of designers that share the aim of creating buildings to improve the lives of people, while minimising the impact on the planet and our resources.



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Ice Formation

Ice Hotel and Multipurpose Polar Venue
Zaha Hadid Design (ZHD) x JoyPatisserie

In the age of the meta-verse, Zaha Hadid Design x Joy Patisserie’s intention was to revisit the basics.At first, the angular design references the many global challenges we currently face, with a specific focus on the environmental crisis. This is reflected in the material they have chosen, reminding us about the fragility of our ecosystems. However, the design also aims to express our optimism for the future and our commitment in resolving the most pressing issues of our time –– the unleash of a renewed, explosive, and positive attitude.The polar climate typifies the essence of the winter season combined with the innocence of children, their sense of wonder and sincere surprise often associated with the Christmas celebrations.The formality of the design literally references the simple yet logical process of ice formations –– the occurrence of freezing molecules of water turning into a crystalline solid. The main ingredients they used to translate their initial concept into reality are isomalt sugar and rice paper, which also provides a strong structural support to the edible ensemble.

Established in 2006 by Zaha Hadid, ZHD operates under the lead of Woody Yao and Maha Kutay who ensure consistency with the Founder’s ethos by continuing to coherently translate and apply Hadid’s methodological approach to any new design encompassing lighting, furniture, fashion accessories, jewellery, interiors, exhibitions, and set-design.JoyPatiserrieAfter gaining her master degree in Architecture in 2010, Yuxi Fu spent five years at ZHA working on a number of different assignments. In 2015, Yuxi decided to focus on cake-making and trained as a patisserie chef at Le Cordon Blue in London before starting her label –– JoyPatisserie.




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Ice Ice Maybe?

Icebreaker Ship
Child Graddon Lewis

‘Ice Ice Maybe?’ is a warm, colourful and most importantly playful beacon with primary colours that draw the eye. The boat has been named to remind people about the rise in temperatures and whether there will be any ice for the icebreaker boats to plough through in the very near future. You’ll also spot that the boat is a place for all, with our office seadogs Blue and Geda gazing into the distance. Given the current pressures on the environment and climate, floating houses/boats may quickly become a form of architectural design we all will need to get accustomed to sooner rather than later. Although CGL has worked across a number of sectors, they’ve never designed buildings in extreme climates like the Arctic before. They were drawn to the challenge of designing a structure that has to withstand the extremely low temperatures and little daylight which are external factors we are used to having to review on a daily basis albeit not at such a low level.

Child Graddon Lewis – Jessica Thomson, Dani Reed, Robert ArmstrongThe practice’s founding principles centre upon making an imaginative, considered and sustainable contribution to communities and the built environment within our work. Our diversity group has taken on the gingerbread city challenge this year to highlight CGL’s drive to promote diversity within the architectural industry.



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Ice Quarry Base Camp

Arctic huts, research centre and
landing station

Embodied energy and carbon life cycle of a building includes extraction of raw materials, transport, manufacturing and construction, operation and end of life. The ice quarry base camp take inspirations from stone quarry and traditional ice harvesting which use local natural resources for building. Inhabiting natural geology, building with low/negative embodied carbon materials and working towards a circular economy.In the midst of Climate Change crisis, arctic expedition and research programs are especially important to improve predictions of arctic change and to explore its global impacts. Sugar cubes are used as geology, landscape and modular building materials.

We are a RIBA chartered architecture based in London, established in 2003, formerly Amin Taha Architects. Our studio is an EOT formed as a collective committed to the delivery of low-carbon, well-conceived and thoughtfully-detailed buildings.



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Igloo in the Ice

Domed structure providing shelter
Graphic Structures

This cosy gingerbread shelter provides refuge and warmth for any who need it. Watch the icy artic winds and snow from the comfort of this tiny igloo carved into the snow drifts. Peer out the iced mint windows onto the frozen world beyond and turn the fire up safe in the knowledge that your eco conscious dome requires 30 percent less energy to heat than your rectangular neighbours! Polar landscape is harsh and challenging, but communities’ band together to survive and thrive. Graphic Structures wanted to envision a space where friends or lost individuals could recuperate and shelter from passing storms in a snug and safe environment. Domes are highly efficient structures, providing the most usable space with the least amount of surface area. They use significantly less materials than conventional buildings and, in a time where we should be carefully considering our environmental impact, could provide a creative solution towards net-zero goals.A research team led by experts from UK universities have developed a thin-shell vaulted shape design for their floors that uses 75 per cent less concrete than a conventional solid slab. Concrete is one of the world’s most widely consumed materials and currently contributes to more than 7 percent of global CO2 emissions. Reducing the amount of concrete required in buildings would be one of the easiest ways for the construction industry to begin its journey to net-zero.

We are a structural and civil engineering company with a focus on sustainable design. We work closely with Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Developers to create sustainable, affordable housing for those most in need.



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Lake shore warming hut and shelters

Hut and shelters
Bamber Miller Architects

These warming shelters have been designed to withstand extreme polar conditions. Their efficient triangular shape reduces surface area, minimising heat loss and allowing heavy snow to gently glide off. The large overhangs provide added shading from the strong summer sun whilst their raised platforms allow for snow buildup and rising sea levels. The cabins are positioned along the waterfront to make the most of the views across the water whilst maximising access to daylight, water and feeling of orientation. A couple of smaller shelters are positioned either side of a larger communal cabin, accommodating a log fire around which to congregate and enjoy a hot chocolate and marshmallows whilst watching the snow fall down outside. Bamber Miller Architects have an affinity with Scandinavian design, which is deeply rooted in its polar landscape. In such extreme climatic conditions it is crucial for buildings to be efficient in terms of space, orientation and materials as well as relative positioning within the community, on which it relies so heavily. The warming shelters are built entirely out of lightweight sustainable materials. The structure and internal linings are made of softwood, which can be found in abundance in many polar countries such as Sweden and Norway and is relatively lightweight to export if not. Blue colour coated steel standing seam envelopes the timber shelters to provide a durable finish, particularly in the harsh polar winds, whilst ensuring the shelters are visible in the landscape. Standing seam cladding allows moisture buildup to evaporate through the seams, which can be helpful when the temperature difference between internal and external environments can vary by as much as 50 deg C. The naturally warm tones of timber help to contrast against the cool light of the polar landscape creating a cozy atmosphere indoors.

Bamber Miller Architects is a small architectural practice based in Surrey specialising in residential transformations inspired by Scandinavian design. Our projects are sensitive to our clients requirements and driven by their context. We pride ourselves in our attention to detail and enjoy working through projects from initial ideas to handover.



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Malt Log Cabins


Description coming soon.


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No plaice like home

Swedish Fish Hut
Edwards Wilson Architects

A take on a traditional Swedish fishing hut allowing locals to catch, smoke, prepare, sell and eat their catch. In a global world striving for a sustainable future, it’s paramount to think local. We’re at the beginning of a global recession and a climate change catastrophe; as with many, low-cost housing and low-cost gingerbread plots were key factors when choosing our site. The importance of designing buildings that can accommodate climate changes such as flooding will become more relevant in the coming decades, especially in in lower income populations. With climate change affecting our day-today, it’s essential that our built environment changes with it, including a renewed focus on local sustainable food supplies. Special features include a raised platform to accommodate changing sea-levels.

We follow good conservation practices and deliver sustainable solutions to meet client needs. Our collaborative approach allows us to provide exceptional professional services across a broad range of sectors including; residential, commercial, ecclesiastical projects and now edible fish huts!



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Sweet Ascension Airport

Airport of the Future
EPR Architects

EPR have looked at the future design of airports, considering the changing ginger-scape of melting icing, raising syrup levels and expanding crumbling archipelago environment.Delve into the kraft’s of the future – exploring how architecture will evolve to meet the new cracking spiced ginger-scape and increase intensity on weather flavourings? Drip, drip, drop, the ice-caps are going to slop. EPR have explored the political ginger-scape of architecture, conveying a frosty message with a gooey evolution of the baked outcomes. Minimizing the use of sticky treacle power to focus on reusable power sources.Special features include runways designed to assist with taking off; including piezoelectricity generated from the biscuity tarmac to power the Airport, bubbly smartie air balloons, powered by wind power, heat resistant chocolate krafts, powered by the microwave energy.

EPR Architects is an award-winning practice based in London, Manchester and Wrocław with a well-established reputation for quality architecture, masterplanning and interior design thanks to our extensive experience delivering an array of building typologies across workplace, lifestyle and leisure sectors.



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The Bio-Doughm

Bio-Doughm supporting
a self-sufficient community
Stride Treglown

Stride Treglown’s Bio-Doughm supports a self-sufficient community of islanders, who monitor climate change, upcycle marine plastic pollution and explore new ways of protecting the polar ice caps.Taking cues from the traditional igloo and the architecture of Jean Prouvé and Kisho Kurokawa, the architecture of Ice Breaker Island is built to withstand extreme weather conditions whilst providing a comfortable living environment. The inhabitants live with their families in the ‘Bakingtin Tower’ which is linked to the gingerdesic ‘Bio-Doughm’ by a weatherproof tunnel. The islanders are also responsible for the ‘Skeed Vault’, a repository for the world’s seed collection which doubles as a ski jump for the islanders to have some fun!The Recylcoctopus swims in the ocean surrounding the island, working with the islanders to collect plastic waste for upcycling into seasonal gifts, which are magically distributed annually by a mysterious local.The island demonstrates the importance of sustainable architecture, using fewer resources to build and to live, and the value of upcycling waste to produce a sustainable, sweet future. Stride Treglown wanted to use their plot not just to draw attention to the climate emergency, but also to think about how to build more economically and sustainably in such a harsh environment. We wanted to imagine, and bake, a self-sufficient future climate change research community with a focus on recycling, upcycling and harmonious living with the environment. A model for future communities to live within the earth’s ecological ceiling.” “The ‘Bio-Doughm’ is the centrepiece of Ice Breaker Island providing a temperate social space for our hardy islanders, Bakingtin Tower is a vertical igloo habitat providing a warm domestic environment. Its not all work for the ‘Ice Breakers’ with the ski jump seed vault, a wind farm and a cable car to ascend Meringue Mountain. A secret cave provides a habitat for a mystery islander with his sleigh and his flying Rangifer tarandus.The islanders live in harmony with the environment, with the local wildlife and with their penguin tourists! Seals relax in the sun on Ginger Crunch beach, but the islanders are very concerned about the rising temperatures and are continually exploring ways to replenish the ice.”

We’re a rich mix of thinkers, designers, and bakers of the built environment. We want architecture led change, so that future generations can prosper. We love being part of Gingerbread City, it gets families talking about architecture, and we hope it inspires the next generation of city-shapers and bakers!



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The Gingerbread Spa

Hotel and Spa
TMV Architects

TMV’s spa is predominantly used by penguins, but they welcome all sorts of winter animals including; polar bears, walruses, reindeer, and even snowmen. Flamingos are also welcome, but it is important that they stay close to the water to keep warm. TMV wanted to create a magical environment for Santa to visit and relax all year round. As a forward-thinking sustainable practice, they also felt that by designing in a cold climate, they could highlight the effects of global warming. All homes of the animals visiting the spa are at risk, as the temperatures and sea levels rise. Water is a key feature for the design with a roof top lazy river which flows into a waterfall and lower-level plunge pool. You will see the penguins having a lot of fun with this, sliding down the slide and even hosting a pool party!

We are a team of architects based in Cambridgeshire. We create imaginative and meticulous work for a diverse range of clients, from residential to education and healthcare. Our drive and technological know-how allows us to adapt to projects of all shapes and sizes across the country, including a gingerbread hotel and spa!



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The Iced Gem Cultural Centre

Museum and Cultural Centre

Cundall have built a contemporary cultural centre which is sympathetic to traditional polar architecture with its steep slopes and its gem-like form. Large rooflights have been incorporated to allow in natural light. The colour has been added to the glazing to reflect the colours of the northern and southern lights. Many interesting themes have been incorporated such as freezing temperatures, the northern lights, and geothermal power.Cundall were drawn towards the polar region as it is so sensitive to climate change. They were very excited to have the opportunity to incorporate sustainable measures as part of their structure. Special features include geothermal energy that has been harnessed to power the building and the historical artefacts that are on display in the centre.

Cundall is a global, independent, multi-disciplinary consultancy delivering sustainable engineering and design solutions across the built environment.



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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.