Architects, being architects, didn’t buy their Christmas treats in the supermarket, but instead created their own gingerbread buildings, bridges and other structures in the Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread city, with the brief to imagine a city of the future within a masterplan designed by Tibbalds Planning and Design within the confines of the space at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Some buildings were stylistically recognisable by the architect designers, such as Zaha Hadid Architects, others were more festive and traditional, one replicated a building made of second-hand steel containers and Foster and Partners showed how they created their gingerbread building using digital technology and a robot. Many combined contemporary architecture with traditional festive features created in smarties, chocolate and other sweets, along with buildings designed to support biodiversity. The space between the buildings was as important as the buildings themselves, with bridges over water, and green places to stroll, relax and play with light rail, cycling and pedestrian routes connecting the city and its natural features together as the buildings climbed up the hillsides. Many of the architects had added witty anecdotes to their part of the city.
Needless to say, children loved the display and hopefully the initiative encouraged many of them to become the architects of the future (of real, rather than gingerbread buildings).