From rainforests to tropical beaches, this is a lush and colourful climate where landscapes are bountiful and the city is warm and humid. In a tropical environment, it is important to keep interiors from becoming too warm by adding lots of open space, windows, air flow, and orienting buildings away from the midday sun.

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Biscotti Bay

Hove Surf Life Saving Club

Hive Surf Lifesaving Club’s hexagon cell structure aims to reflect the hive and also add the dimension of outdoor life and having fun by the coast. The inspiration for the gingerbread scene is the commitment and ultimate teamwork demonstrated by worker bees in a hive. The sense of working together resonates with the skills needed to perform surf rescues and lifesaving.

Our community club thrives on team work and passion for the sea and out door life.

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Calypso Café

Beach front café
Peter Dann Ltd

Named after a famous local sea turtle, the Calypso Café was built on a beach where turtles had previously visited to lay their eggs. However their numbers have gradually decreased over time due to the increased local urbanisation and pollution. The café therefore aims to highlight the plight of sea turtles while being sustainable and improving the local environment. The beach is now a much more pleasant environment, and you might even see a turtle or two coming to say hello and thank you! Tropical coastal areas are at a very high risk from global warming, including rising sea levels and an increased frequency of tropical storms and hurricanes. This has a high cost in terms of capital, human cost, and on wildlife. For sea turtles, their beach habitats can be destroyed, and warming oceans can change sea currents and damage coral reefs. Additionally, warmer nesting beaches results in a higher number of female turtles being born, potentially leading to extinction through a shortage of males.” The café is raised above the beach to allow for rising sea levels and storm surges. The structure is made from locally sourced materials, including timber and leaves from palm trees blown over during tropical storms. The lightweight canopy roof is supported from palm trees and is demountable for removal in tropical storms and hurricanes. Recycled plastic bottles that wash up on the beach were used to create the skylight panels.

We are an award-winning engineering consultancy specialising in structural and civil design, offering a broad range of services covering all sectors. With nearly 60 years’ experience and a prospering team, we aim to always exceed our clients’ requirements through dynamic, efficient, and economical solutions for the built environment.


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Cardamom Kampung

Homes and workspace
Pilbrow & Partners

‘Kampung’ is the Indonesian word for village and these traditional, rural settlements can be built around community living and crafts. Made from local and sustainable materials, Cardamon Kampung is a people-focused scheme with respect for – and a strong connection to – the environment. Challenged to design a mix of homes and workspace, Pilbrow & Partners looked beyond straightforward building uses. Blurring sector boundaries and designing-in flexibility, they sought to create a connected, multi-functional community. The scheme responds to the brief by delivering safe, aesthetically pleasing and ecologically sound, sustainable accommodation within a planet-friendly setting. The adaptable space lends the project a sense of longevity, enabling it to respond to many future demands … At least until it gets eaten! Pilbrow & Partners wanted to explore the vernacular architecture of SouthEast Asia and how the building forms are influenced by passive climate mitigations. They decorated their structure using bioplastics made from food waste to align with their philosophy of circular economy.

We are a team of tea and biscuit enthusiasts working in a London-based architecture and urban design studio.


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Ging-Spiring Spaces

Sculpture park
Squire and Partners x Mosaic CSE

Gin-Spiring Spaces is a landmark that sits at the top of the hill as a signal of hope and celebration. It hosts the tropical island’s concerts, sport tournaments, festivals and other social celebrations, in addition to supporting the growth of local vegetation. To cope with the varying extreme climates of the tropics, it includes ample provision of shelter to protect the inhabitants from severe environmental events such as storms, tsunamis and rising sea levels. The team were inspired by the many local materials found in rainforests such as the Amazon that offer an abundance of food and supplies that are widely used around the world, including but not limited to, cacao plants, coconut oil, coffee beans, muscovado sugar, avocados, bananas, vanilla seed pods, and not forgetting spices such as cinnamon, pepper and of course, GINGER! Gin-Spiring Spaces is self-sufficient – the large canopy acting as a shading device, as well as a rain and dew collector, ensuring the supply of clean drinking water once naturally filtered in the lakes. During the wet season the collected water drives a water wheel, generating electricity to be stored in batteries in the pyramids, for the numerous events hosted around the year. The large platform suspended from the pyramids can be raised and lowered, providing shelter from tropical storms as well as being able to respond to future rising sea levels. The space below is then given back to nature, creating the dark, hot and damp environment of a rainforest as a refuge for flora and fauna displaced by deforestation.

Our team is a collaboration between Squire & Partners architects and Mosaic CSE structural engineers, located in South London. We both enjoy the challenge of unique projects, marrying innovation and craft with traditional technique and working with other disciplines across all sectors.



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Hanana Hammock

Multi-functional hall with restaurant
Studio Dash

Dash wanted to take their client on an escape to a magical paradise. They fly away from reality on a journey where they can enjoy the experience of being attended to at a higher altitude. They designed a lightweight cylindrical marzipan structure sitting on a floating mesh. Large openings at the front and along the side flood the space with brilliant natural light. The red mesh is supported by inclined biscuit columns that tie the structure back to the ground. The tropical colours and textures convey the emotions of a delicious space that provides gorgeous sensory input. Tempting the user to take a bite out of it! On the lower level, there is a restaurant and bar by the lake with a landscape of edibles. Escape the heat on a tropical island with a pina colada and pineapple on the grill!

Studio Dash is an integrated architectural and engineering practice that focuses on sustainable design and regenerative practices based in London and the South East.


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Hansel & Gretel’s Rainbow Retreat Fruit Farm

An indoor-outdoor fruit farm
LTS Architects x Sutton High School GDST

The clients, Hansel and Gretel, wanted somewhere that blurred the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, somewhere for them to inhabit as a retreat set into the beautiful tropical farm landscape. The team responded with a healing retreat and shop which sits within the grounds of the farm. Inside, freshly made fruit from the surrounding farms is available to the local community. The building emerges seamlessly from the tropical landscape. It is designed to be a low-impact complimentary addition to the beautiful tropical surroundings. The open built form also allows air circulation in response to the warm tropical climate. The upper floor of the building house private accommodations and a healing retreat for Hansel and Gretel. Special features include solar panels which power the building, large openings to provide passive ventilation and physic gardens growing in the surrounding farmlands, with medicinal properties to support the healing spa and retreat.

We are LTS Architects, we have been helping people make and enjoy spaces of all sizes for over 25 years. We have been working with Sutton High School GDST for around 3 years now and were delighted to partner with some of their talented Year 11 students on this exciting project!


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Humbug Hotel


Choosing to engage with sustainability aspects first, Assael tackled heat as one of the biggest factors needing mitigation. The hotel is built into the cliff side of the tropical island and utilises the consistent temperature of the earth to keep the internal spaces cool. The evaporative effect of the swimming pool absorbs heat from the air before it enters the hotel. The building is also elevated on stilts to allow air to circulate all round. Local materials are used such as bamboo as the primary structure of the building. Assael chose the tropical climate as anopportunity to learn more about how to tackle sustainability measures in other parts of the world. Many of the sustainable designmeasures used in the tropics, are becoming equally relevant to the new challenges faced in the UK.

Assael is a London-based practice providing architecture, interior design, landscapearchitecture and visualisation services. We work across the hospitality, commercialand master planning sectors, and specialise in residentially-led mixed-use schemes,where we design homes across all tenures, and often integrate leisure, retail andcultural uses to help deliver thriving communities.


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Kaiaulu Center

Community Centre
Glenn Howells

Kaiaulu Center is designed to create an interactive environment that encourages its users to participate in variety of different activities. The design expresses the tropical vernacular, using the large overhanging roof to create shading and open structures to encourage natural ventilation. The building relates to its surrounding context, directing views to the lake and landscaped plot to the base. The design of the building creates an indoor-outdoor experience, responding to its hot climate. Glen Howells chose this climate in repsonse to their own local (London) climate becoming increasingly hotter in recent years. In comparison to less environmentally friendly buildings, those that use less energy save costs, increase occupancy rates, and raise rents and market value. As a result, architects and builders in hot regions must plan and build energy-efficient structures. The building is built on stilts emulating traditional construction methods in tropical climates. The structure consists of four storeys, each storey hosts a different activity for its users, the glazed volumes on either side of the structure are a conceptual core for circulation around the site.

Since our beginning in 1990 we have built an experienced and creative team of 140 based in London and Birmingham. We have also grown long-term creative relationships with our clients and collaborators which allow us to push boundaries to make transformational, remarkable designs.


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Paddy Hills Floating Farms and Aquaculture

Agricultural buildings and productive landscape
Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design

This vibrant farm is an abundant, dynamic, and productive landscape that provides the city with fresh food that keeps growing in the face of a changing climate. Designed to be resilient against coastal flooding, the farm’s innovative design includes floating allotments, raised huts and much more to protect and support the farming community from rising water levels. Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design chose the tropical zone to explore the challenges of designing in a coastal area that faces major challenges arising from the climate crisis. Designing for resilience – from flooding to extreme temperatures – will be key in this climate zone. Food production within urban areas is also a key part sustainable cities. Special features include infrastructure for growing on water, a crane for moving produce around effectively in this hilly city, an irrigation system designed to deliver the right amount of water to crops whatever the weather and a network of interconnecting bridges to ensure the farmers can get to their crops no matter the weather.

Tibbalds are a multidisciplinary practice of urban designers, planners and architects. We create people and planet friendly places. We are motivated by and prioritise making places which aim to improve the lives of all who use them – places that provide better opportunities to live, work, meet and enjoy. We find joy in the opportunity for creativity. And whilst every project we deliver is unique, each is underpinned by the same rigorous strategic approach, grounded in solid professional practice and commercial awareness.


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Pineapple Place

A contemporary place of worship
Studio Egret West

Pineapple Place is a contemporary place of worship, providing inclusive multi-faith spaces for all to enjoy. Pineapple Place questions the role of new sacred structures and explores how these can fit into the built environment. Pineapple Place exemplifies the symbiosis of strategic urban design, memorable architecture and ecology-driven landscape. It’s a space that’s as much about the outdoors as it is about the indoors. The lush, tropical landscaping seeks to facilitate solar shading, creating a space for communities to gather in nature. Tropical climates are characterised by monthly average temperatures of 18 °C. This provided Studio Egret West with a unique set of challenges and opportunities, making for a space that pushes the boundaries of conventional architecture. Their plot seeks to encourage air movement and reduce exposure to midday sun.

We are Studio Egret West. We design and curate places with compelling narratives and identities, places that are firmly rooted in their context and grow naturally out of it. Places that cultivate sustainable communities, amplify nature, prioritise the public realm, and evolve over time.


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Pop Rock Ponta

Museum and Gallery
Hopkins Architects

Pop Rock Ponta is a museum and gallery showcasing masterpieces from Gingerbread City. For Hopkins Architects a tropical climate was an opportunity to optimally reduce a building’s energy consumption, particularly thecooling load. The design has central open space acting as a passive strategy to lessen heat gain. It alsoencourages air movement through the building.Pop Rock Ponta Museum and Gallery’s materials are light in nature to juxtapose with the rocky landscape.

Hopkins Architects Names:
Amal Choaie
Carsten Bergerfurth
Celine Cheung
Curro González
Emma Game
Eva Filose
Hannah Dickenson
Harriet Morgan
Harriet Stride
Jenny Stevens
Kitty Byrne
Paul Steedman
Rebecca Lesher
Robin Simpson
Rupert Woods
Stanley Fu
Valeria Abarca


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S’mores School

S’mores School

Description coming soon.

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Splash Eco Beach Play

Tropical Beach Huts
Catherine Lee Architecture & Interiors

These colourful beach huts with roof top pool and slide have been constructed to provide safe access, shelter and playful enjoyment of this stunning tropical beach. The building has a rooftop sea water pool providing safe water access for young and old whilst capturing stunning sea vistas. A blend of tropical colours blends into and enhances the tropical beach parade. Catherine Lee Architecture and Interiors chose this tropical climate zone because the beach is a calming place, a source of energy – a warm colourful wonderland. The building has been constructed with a zero waste, zero carbon solar powered recirculation pump feeding sea water into the pool and returning it to mother nature down the slide. This allows everyone safe, fun access to the sea even those that are less fond or fearful of swimming in ocean waters.

Catherine Lee Architecture & Interiors is a design focused, residential architecture and interiors studio founded by award winning architect Catherine Zobel. Our focus is on delivering functional, beautiful design led buildings and spaces sympathetic to natural light, circulation flow, building character and environment.


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Super Tree Gumball Gardens

Super Tree Vertical Gardens
Zaha Hadid Architects

Known for using advanced computational design methods to expand the limits of architecture, ZHA are committed to applying the same mind-set towards achieving sustainability solutions and targets in the built environment. Super Tree Gumball Gardens is a futuristic translation of a four- dimensional tropical garden. It is an ecosystem made out of gingerbread and candy with green undulating terraces sweeping up into tree like structures to create vertical flower gardens in all tropical colours and gradients. Seeing landscape not just as a horizontal plane but becoming three dimensional spaces is embedded in the DNA of Zaha Hadid Architects. Next to their bespoke gingerbread and candy creations, ZHA worked with Brik Chocolate on some spectacular chocolate creations.

Zaha Hadid Architects work across all scales and sectors, creating transformative cultural, corporate, residential and other spaces that work in synchronicity with their surroundings.


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The Arc Collective

Flood resistant – Boat Homes
Brady Mallalieu Architects

Turbulent climate conditions mean our future homes need to be versatile with flooding becoming more common – we need homes that can adapt to climate change and rising sea levels. The land based Arc Collective homes can change into a boat with rising tides and if necessary seek out a new site on higher land in future. They will be self sufficient and off-grid and zero carbon own energy homes. The Collective houses approx 12 people. The site is in a challenging and changing climate area and Brady Mallalieu Architects selected this site as it is near the sea as a source of food and recreation and has great potential to be creative.

Brady Mallalieu Architects are a people led sustainable architects practice with over 30 years experience. Our Arc Homes team are: Alexander Mallalieu, Jess Mallalieu, Robin Mallalieu and Angela Brady


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The Meringue Market

Open market thoroughfare from forest
to waterfront
Gustafson Porter + Bowman

Tropical Meringue Market is a journey across a range of tropical strata that inform the climate change challenges facing both natural and manmade landscapes. Gustafson Porter + Bowman recognise that while destruction of our environments needs to halt, there are ways we can live in greater harmony with nature.Maintaining the virgin forest canopy to sustain the water cycle, some of the territory is given over to leisure, foraging and micro agricultural activities. Emerging from this high plateau, water links each level, changing character in response to the context, providing an ecological and social link for the adjacent communities.Sustainable agricultural activities provide a fair income for the inhabitants. Grown, produced and traded locally, external and internal markets are integrated into the natural landscapes to support these activities. The overlapping heavily planted landscapes with open market, event and social spaces creates a harmonious ecosystem for all living beings.Gustafson Porter + Bowman explored how sweet materials can create special watery effects, lush tropical planting and a structural frame so the buildings can touch the ground lightly. The contouring of the landscape is built up in layers of gingerbread to create an undulating and soft landscape appearance where it usually appears very rigid and stiff.

Gustafson Porter + Bowman is an award-winning landscape architecture practice which has received public acclaim for creating authentically engaging spaces within a global portfolio.GP+B was established in 1997 as Gustafson Porter, by Kathryn Gustafson and Neil Porter. Mary Bowman joined the practice in 2002. Kathryn, Neil and Mary, together with partners Sibylla Hartel and Donncha O Shea, are supported by a wider team of landscape architects and architects from around the world.


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Treat Tops Nature Reserve

Look out points in rewilded nature reserve
Group 19 x Spark Structures

Treat Tops Nature Reserve is a glass like lookout tower with no obstructions, providing a full view of the spectacular surroundings and for the visitor to feel totally immersed into the newly rewilded landscape. There is a lot to see in a nature reserve – lots of level changes, dense landscaping and creatures making new homes in hard to view places. Group 19 x Spark Structures chose the Tropical climate zone because they were excited by the vibrant colour palette and the challenge to create an incredible edible structure that will only be partially seen through dense landscaping. They had great fun thinking about what edible materials could be used and what bright sweets could be found to make certain areas of landscape pop out. Shopping for these items bought back some 90’s nostalgia too, finding forgotten sweets like nerds, rainbow drops and chupa chup lollipops!

Group 19 specialises in Architecture and Urban Design, adding meaningful and long lasting value to projects and creating opportunities to help improve our surroundings.Spark Structures design beautiful and efficient structures. Specialising in residential new builds and refurbishments, art installations, temporary pavilions and steel fabrication design.



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Tropical Tyres

Bicycle Repair shop
Darlings Associates

Tropical Tyres, by Darling Associates Architects is a sustainable bike repair shop and a place for the community to gather. The shop represents architecture in a tropical climate – where monsoons, high temperatures and sunlight occur. It is designed to turn nature into energy. Sustainable features include pitched roofs, graded surfaces, solar panelling, and a rainwater collection system that not only serves its purpose but also interacts with the community. Though abundant rainfall is prevalent in tropical climates, droughts can be declared worldwide and flooding thereafter has been increasingly problematic. Darlings Associates chose a zone that reflects what the world is challenged with every day – a warming planet. Speaking of extreme weathers, throughout the making of Tropical Tyres, the team have been able to escape London’s winter blues with all the vibrant colour that lends itself so well to the tropics!

We are Darling Associates Architects, an award-winning practice, consisting of architects, master planners and interior designers. Based in London, we create beautiful places to live, work and relax, both in the UK and internationally. DAA aims to be world-class in sustainability and have recently gained operational carbon neutral in line with our goal towards net zero.


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Wafer Roll Wellness

Wellness Retreat
Chapman Taylor – Bristol

The Cascades Renewal Retreat is an eco-tourism destination, engaging with local ecology through sustainable and responsible design. A restoration of the once toxic filled and polluted landscape, this scheme articulates the symbiotic relationship between architecture and its local environment. This living landscape uses vernacular gingerbread to create a sweet and intimate sense of place. The wellness retreat is comprised of a visitor centre with therapeutic spa and biome research centre that explores the spiritual and ecological benefits of communal living to restore sensitive local habitats before it is too late. Amongst the cascading falls of delicious syrup, group pod living demonstrates collective community habitat restoration in practice. As a society, we must change the way we inhabit or face the daunting prospect that the ecosystems that we rely on to provide us with the air we breathe and the food we eat will be irreversibly damaged.

A creative team from Chapman Taylor Bristol Studio.


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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.