10% of the Earth’s surface is covered in ice, in the form of glaciers, ice sheets, and ice caps.
Icy environments are vital to regulating Earth’s climate: they reflect sunlight away, and help keep the entire planet cold. However, the sub-zero temperatures of this harsh climate can make sustaining communities difficult, and this city must also grapple with melting glaciers and rising sea levels. While they are surrounded by ice, melting it is energy intensive, so residents have to plan ahead to have enough clean, usable water.
Structures in this landscape must be designed to withstand the elements and help people stay warm, but also to foster a resilient and lively city, where residents can maintain a strong sense of community in an isolated place and through long, dark winters. While frozen landscapes may seem inhospitable, they sustain entire ecosystems– it just takes adaptation!
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HeathrHo! Ho! Ho! Airport
HeathrHo! Ho! Ho! is a fabulous gingerbread airport, adorned with colourful candies and icing, features a parametric rolling roof that sits upon a glowing glass box, and a candy cane-striped control tower. Sugary airplanes taxi on the runway, and Santa’s sleigh rests on the roof, creating a whimsical holiday spectacle.
Assael is an award-winning practice providing a cohesive suite of architecture, interior design and landscape services to a range of developers, investors and local authorities. Working across a range of sectors including hospitality, commercial and masterplanning, and specialising in residentially-led mixed-use schemes, our thorough site analysis and responsive design approach ensures the creation of vibrant new communities that are of their place.
Frosty Fin Harbour
BM3 Architecture Ltd
Welcome to Frosty Fin Harbour, a charming ‘fisher-guin’ village nestled amongst icy cliffs, rhythm of gentle waves, and the pitter-patter of penguin flippers. The bustling harbour hosts fishing adventures from the ‘Frost-Feather Tower’. The “Snowflake Inn” is the main community attraction nestled among cozy fishing huts.
BM3 Architecture Ltd is a multi-disciplinary practice with offices located in Birmingham and London specialising in the residential sector and urban regeneration. BM3 prides itself on delivering high-quality and innovative architecture. This is achieved by a consensual approach to regeneration, masterplanning and design.
Iced Gem Cultural Centre
Brooks Murray Architect & Azman Architects
The Iced Gem stands out as a multifaceted radiant sculpture reflecting both sky and harbour space. Semi-recessed into a series of landscaped terraces, the building will feature a mezzanine with exhibitions and a glass viewing dome onto a series of water features.
Brooks Murray is an architectural and masterplanning practice working on projects at every scale, from building new communities to the conservation of historic buildings, commercial refurbishments and high-end residences.
The Ice-Pickle Academy is a vital hub and learning centre for growing and preserving in harsh conditions, ensuring sustenance during the scarcity of fresh produce. The practical tradition of pickling not only feeds the local community but also defines distinctive regional flavours, contributing to the culinary heritage of the community in the face of ever-changing landscapes.
Build Studios is a hub for the built environment. With events, education and co-working space, we aim to inspire the next generation about the built environment through collaboration and learning.
Sound of the Sea Longhouse
A coastal kit house made of locally grown wood and insulated with sheeps wool. Fabricated off-site using innovative methods to minimise its environmental impact. Melted ice, snow and rainwater harvested into underground tanks so it doesn’t freeze in winter or evaporate in summer. Roof-mounted solar panels. Wood-burning stove.
Chiddingfold Creatives work in conjunction with Smart Rewilding to design gingerbread houses for Gingerbread City to promote their sustainable living ideas. They hope to influence the wider public to live sustainably.
PCAN – Penguins Climate Action Network
Corstorphine & Wright Architects
As the global temperature rises and the permafrost at the earth’s poles thaws, a prehistoric stepped landscape emerges from beneath the ice. With nowhere else to go, the adolescent penguins hunker down and set to work carefully restoring and regenerating the ice.
Corstorphine & Wright is an award-winning architectural practice with design studios nationwide. We are known both for creative excellence and commercial edge. Using our insight-led approach and drawing on experience from our 280+ strong team, we help invigorate communities, excite stakeholders and maximise long-term value.
Baked Alaska Lake
This is a frozen landscape that will emphasise the richness of shape, texture and colour of what, initially, might be assumed to be a white monotone.
Deborah Jaffé is a ceramic artist, cultural historian and author.
The ditto Cupcake Community Centre
Nestled in the heart of the gingerbread city, the ditto Cupcake Community Centre exudes warmth with candy cane columns and gumdrop accents. Frosted windows invite laughter from holiday workshops, cozy story circles, and cocoa gatherings. A sugary hub where smiles are the currency and kindness is the language spoken.
ditto is a secondment marketplace that allows organisations in the built environment industry to flex their workforces to meet project needs. Additionally, ditto’s marketplace provides a route to fantastic external learning and development opportunities that might not be possible internally within an organisation.
Once a year, gummy guardians trek across Glaceland Valley through icing-sugar storms and sorbet-cold temperatures to celebrate the Snow Star Festival which honours Gumdrop Glacier. This pilgrimage around white chocolate icecaps holds significant cultural importance, but due to kitchen mismanagement and uncontrolled rising oven temperatures, is becoming increasingly endangered.
Haworth Tompkins is an award-winning, London-based architectural practice formed in 1991 by Graham Haworth and Steve Tompkins. The practice has worked on a broad range of projects, including housing, theatres, schools, offices, factories, and shops, winning over 180 major design awards, including the RIBA Stirling Prize, and AJ100 Practice of the Year 2020 and 2022.
Rainbow Sherbet Fishing Harbour
Hove Surf Life Saving Club
The harbour buildings are built from interlocking biscuit blocks and decorated with sugar coated treats and inhabited by penguin fisher folk.
Hove Surf Life Saving Club is established is to save lives and prevent drowning and to provide education and training in all areas relating to lifesaving, rescue and resuscitation for the benefit of the public in Brighton & Hove.
Icing Shelf Research Station
Hugh Broughton Architects / British Antarctic Survey
Designed in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey, the Icing Shelf Research Station supports world leading science. The ski based modules are constructed with a robust prefabricated composite ginger monocoque structure. Prefabrication of gingerbread panels, wafer science decks, frosted penguins and seals was essential to meet the tight delivery timeline.
Hugh Broughton Architects creates remarkable buildings fit for the most complex and challenging of circumstances, including resilient structures able to withstand Antarctic ice and winds. The British Antarctic Survey provides the UK’s national polar capability by operating research stations, aircraft and ship, supporting science at the poles and securing the UK’s presence in Antarctica.
The Emperors’ Huddle
The emperor penguin species and its Antarctic habitat are threatened by increasing ice loss, overfishing and plastic pollution. However, the colony of research penguins at The Emperors’ Huddle have set out to conduct investigations into the impact of these challenges and test sustainable, innovative future solutions. Their protected zone features a research station and habitable pods. It has a ‘Scrap, Sort and Store’ facility for up-cycling leftover fishing industry waste to make rafts, shelters and much more. Connected by penguin-built walkways, the central Chick Creche and Fishing Well provide stable gathering spots for the colony.
LSI Architects is an AJ100, award winning architectural practice with over 70 people, including Architects, Architectural Technologists and support staff, based in London and Norwich. We seek to create sustainable, innovative, valuable and positive architecture that improves lives, builds communities and enhances society, or as we put it – life touching design.
Morph Pole Houses
Morph Pole Houses is a fishing village on the coastline of an icy island. The residents (and friendly local penguins!) share the waters around the settlement – catching fish to sustain themselves in the harsh sub-zero climate. The properties are raised on stilts to prepare for rising sea levels.
We are a multi award-winning team of structural engineers. We constantly challenge ourselves and others to create elegant solutions to complex problems. We believe in a lean, intelligent approach to design, reducing the impact of our structures on the environment.
SugarPlum Studio is an artist’s studio based in an old whaling factory. The building was converted into a studio and living space for artists coming to frozen landscapes to document how the local scenery and wildlife are changing in the face of global warming. In this way, the somewhat dark past of the building has been repurposed by those trying to build a hopeful future.
As an artist myself, I modeled this structure on the actual studio space I work from in Homerton. I’m fascinated by how old and disused buildings can be repurposed to give them a new lease of life. I wanted to explore how this would look in a frozen landscape like the Arctic, where there are many disused whaling factories in the wake of changing legislation and moral pressures.
Hot Chocolate Huts
The Manser Practice
Hot Chocolate Huts are meticulously crafted with gingerbread walls, chocolate strips, icing details, and candy accents. They are placed on a frozen surface and covered by ice and snow made out of custard sugar where a sinuous path invites the viewer to walk into the warm fireplace inside the translucent Isomalt shelter that holds the huts together.
The Manser Practice is an architecture and interior design studio with a reputation for quality. We work on all types of projects – big, small and everything in-between – from concept to completion. And we love a challenge.
Iced Mint Igloo
Pingu’s community of penguins have teamed up are leading the Water clean up campaign in an effort to extract and recycle rubbish dumped into the seas and oceans by humans within their new state of art recycle-loo centre.
Urban mesh is an award-winning architecture studio based in Smithfield EC1. Our practice strives to improve on the core pursuits of sustainability, conservation, and innovation. These values revolve around creating spaces that harmonize with nature, conserve resources, and push the boundaries of architectural conventions.
The Museum of Architecture is pleased to present the 7th edition of the hugely popular annual exhibition The Gingerbread City® at
Westfield London, White City
2nd December 2023 – January 7 2024
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS
TO DO AT HOME
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BOOK YOUR EXHIBITION TICKET
Join one of our festive gingerbread house-making workshops taking place every day during the exhibition. Advance booking is essential.