Gingerbread City 2022 unveils feast for the eyes & imagination

21 December 2022
Credit: Luke O’Donovan
  • Luke O’Donovan
  • Foster + Partners Ice Stadium
  • Foster + Partners Ice Stadium




United Kingdom

Tenderstream members contribute to annual festive celebration in London

Annual architectural celebration The Gingerbread City has opened its doors in London, unveiling its festive feast for the eyes, senses and imagination. Over 100 leading architects, landscape architects, engineers and designers have come together to create this year’s edition, with Tenderstream members participating including Arup, AHMM, and Foster + Partners. Five mini-cities in five of the world’s climate zones - Polar, Temperate, Continental, Desert and Tropical - have been created to show what a sustainable future could look like, containing everything from houses, train stations, markets and museums to wetlands, farms, parks and gardens. Visitors can also marvel at moving trains, a working cable car and twirling carousels.

Organised by Museum of Architecture, a charity dedicated to connecting the public with architecture and design in an exciting way, the exhibition aims to inspire important conversations about cities and how we live in them - all through the medium of gingerbread. Melissa Woolford, founder of Museum of Architecture said: “I am so excited to unveil this year’s Gingerbread City and be able to showcase so many brilliant ideas for how to tackle the challenge of building for different climates. By bringing all these ideas together, Museum of Architecture hopes to inspire meaningful conversations around how we can act to help save our planet.”

Highlights include Santa’s Wagon Wheel Workshop by Arup, which places Santa’s workshop in a desert landscape, where reindeers are replaced by camels and Santa is clad in speedos. Over in the temperate zone, the Liquorice Train Station by AHMM features solar panels, wind turbines and rain water harvesting.

Foster + Partners created an ice stadium, designed to host successful events all year round, while providing thermal comfort to everyone with minimal energy consumption. The firm states: “Foster + Partners believe that raising awareness 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 and operate our venues, even decommissioning! Which, in this case for the Stadium, means eating it!”

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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