Now in its sixth year, the Museum of Architecture’s popular exhibition, The Gingerbread City, is a celebration of place. Held in London, it is intended to get people who may not normally spend much time thinking about the built environment to engage with the challenges of creating good places that best support how we live, work and play.
The theme for this year’s city is ‘Designing for Different Climates’, with the exhibition being divided into five distinct climate zones: Polar, Dry, Continental, Tropical and London/Temperate. Entrants were asked to think about how we can make cities that are more inclusive and equitable from an economic and an ecological point of view.
A multi-disciplinary team from Cundall’s London office were given the brief to design an Iced Gem Cultural Centre for the Polar zone. The final design centres around a faceted gem-like building shape with a dramatic sloped roof reminiscent of what you see in Nordic architecture to prevent snow build up. The Aurora Borealis (northern lights) were the inspiration for the lighting design and colour scheme of the Cundall team's design, with coloured ‘glass’ panels in green and icy blues, made from melted isomalt.
Since the building is a cultural / heritage centre, the team added historic artefacts, such as a woolly mammoth incapsulated in an ice block and a Viking boat. The building is supplied with geothermal energy from a nearby geyser – a very inventive use of Strawberry Laces and Polo mints! This is probably one of Cundall’s smallest projects, but one which clearly demonstrates our ability to collaborate across multiple disciplines.
The Gingerbread City will be open to the public from 3 December to 2 January at 6-7 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JU.