There are few things as Christmassy as gingerbread – it’s the time of year when shops and cafes start stocking up with gingerbread men, cake, coffee and many other gingerbread things.
Since 2016, the Museum of Architecture (MOA) has held its annual Gingerbread City, in which a group of architects and designers present an exhibition of gingerbread houses, buildings and other objects in a huge open space. There are also a series of family workshops, and together with the exhibition make up the MOA’s annual winter fundraiser. Now entering its 6th year (it was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic), it’s become immensely popular, with some 40,000 people attending in 2019, and this number is expected to grow.
Over 100 different architects and engineers are working together to create the ginger metropolis this year, and on each previous year there’s been a full list of participants posted on the event’s website. The venue this year is a pop up in Knightsbridge, running from 3rd December to 2nd January.
This won’t just be a bunch of gingerbread houses stuck in a row: there’ll be skyscrapers, cars, windmills, clouds, bridges and much more, built not just from gingerbread but plenty of other sweet treats like marshmallows, strawberry laces and candy floss. There’s been models of famous landmarks in the past too, such as Battersea Power Station, the Tate Modern and 2020’s venue Somerset House.
This year’s theme for the event will take you through five various climates, from tropical to polar, so expect forests and parks in the mix. The theme is intended to raise awareness of pollution and the environment, so there’ll be models depicting extreme weather and climate change. Given it’s designed by architects, it will also serve as an idea for making cities and our way of life sustainable in the future.
Leading architects will use their building expertise & baking genius to create a gingerbread-based urban landscape
The workshops, that run concurrently with the event period, will allow individuals and families to take part in their own gingerbread house building, giving them a full kit for construction. These workshops are designed to give further insight and education to attendees on the theme of sustainable building and climate awareness, and are ticketed separately from the exhibition (buying one does not mean entry for the other).
If the idea of a sprawling sweet treat metropolis appeals to you, and you don’t mind drooling over the sight of it (you’re not allowed to eat anything on display, sadly) then the MOA Gingerbread City is the best way to experience these creations in London, so make sure to get your ticket in ASAP.