The Gingerbread City Cultural Quarter is a perfect place for holiday cultural fix – the area includes theatres, museums and galleries. The city park serves not only as an attractive setting for recreation and picnics but also connects the station and main civic uses together.
The large-scale tram and train station provides uninterrupted service and connections to the rest of the city, and the high-quality public realm includes street trees and a range of spaces for meeting, relaxation and play. Tickets to The Gingerbread City’s miniature railway station aren’t available on Trainline, but you can get cheap train tickets to London here.
This area of The Gingerbread City’s masterplan is split up into several individual plots. Teams from architecture and design companies were asked to pick one of these plots – and then supply a bespoke gingerbread building appropriate for it. Over the past few months, the wonderful buildings below have been conceived, designed, crafted, and baked by them to fit.
The buildings of the Cultural Quarter
Transportation Art Gallery
History is a treasure and this creation; a treasure trove. The ‘Transportation Art Gallery’ is designed to be an experience-focused structure housing wonders in transportation dating from the past to the present. An attractive cylindrical central atrium which allows a 360° visibility exhibits an iconic innovation in the field. Each adjacent room is dedicated to a specific mode of transportation, delivering a unique perspective. The art gallery will embody a dynamic character because — transport suggests kinesis.
About the designers: This practice creates structures that truly belong to their habitats — their designs are proud reflections of history celebrating its present. They believe in and build stories; stories of breathing and beautiful spaces; spaces that bring and bond people; people who shall travel and transcend the future; future that’s inspiring, imaginative, and inclusive.
London Bridge Roll Station
The London Bridge Roll Station design features a highly sculptural roof with illuminated spaces below. The station roof is the primary design component that celebrates the rail interchange within the cultural quarter. The roof surfaces play with light through the use of perforated patterns, while the modular design can accommodate future expansion. The surrounding landscape integrates the triangulation into the urban realm and creates a topography of gingerbread and sweets. The station is grand, civic and ambitious, acting as a flexible urban space in front of the public square.
About the designers: Grimshaw was founded by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw in 1980. The practice operates worldwide, across all major sectors, with offices in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Dubai, Melbourne and Sydney, employing over 650 staff.
Pink Wafer Bridge
Johanna Molineus Architects
Joining the Research and University District with the City Cultural Quarter, the Pink Wafer Bridge pushes the boundaries of sugar engineering. The structural collapse of the low-grade wafers in the much loved pre-existing bridge has provided an excellent opportunity to significantly improve the capacity and the interconnectivity to and from the surrounding areas. The transparency and sinuous use of sugar as a primary material in interconnected hyperbolic paraboloids and parabolic vaults forms a bridge of fantasy that toys with the human scale, transporting one into both the future and to the other side.
About the designers: Johanna Molineus Architects are renowned for innovative design and excellent working practices, work with public and private clients on new-builds and renovations across residential, retail and commercial sectors. Their portfolio includes projects in the UK, Europe, the USA and the Middle East
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
At Teacake Hotel, old meets new in a dramatic riverside setting. This design builds on the practice’s experience of creating destination hotels around the world and of adding a new layer of contemporary design to the historic urban fabric. The hotel is seen as a ‘home away from home’ for the traveller and a way that culture is transported around the globe, through both the social interaction of the travellers with the cities they visit and the fabric of the building itself, which picks up influences from around the globe.
About the designers: KPF’s portfolio features some of the world’s tallest towers and largest airports, complex masterplans and innovative transformations. In London, they recently completed The Scalpel.
The Inside-Out Opera House
The Inside-Out Opera House is a large landmark building on the waterfront, attracting Gingerbread City dwellers to witness gingetastic performances. It has walkways wrapping around the building, connecting to the surrounding plots and parks and creating a lively civic presence around the Opera House. The building is constructed from modular gingerbread components. The forms of the Reverba-Biscuits are designed to enhance the acoustic performance of the opera house. This expresses the technical brilliance of the opera house externally
About the designers: LSI Architects is an AJ100, award-winning architectural practice with around 70 people based in London and Norwich. They seek to create sustainable, innovative, valuable and positive architecture that improves lives, builds communities and enhances society, or as they put it – Life Touching Design
The Gingerbread Bridge
MAAPS Design & Architecture
In ancient times, humans across different cultures used statues to mark entrances and boundaries. Gargoyles were incorporated into architecture: warding off evil spirits and standing sentinel over the building. In London, we have a pair of cast-iron dragons to mark the boundaries of the City. Situated within the Cultural Quarter, our gingerbread bridge brings this guardian statue tradition into the future, re-imagining the bridge spirits of the past in a new rib design. The design has two sphinxlike cat statues at either end, ensuring that all travellers arrive at their destination, and ultimately into the future, with the utmost safety.
About the designers: MAAPS are a London based interior and architecture studio, focused on creating thoughtful and inventive design that puts clients at the centre. They work across sectors including hospitality, residential, and maritime, as well as listed and heritage projects.
The Mousse-eum of Gingerbread Architecture
Nick Baker Architects
The Mousse-eum of Gingerbread Architecture celebrates the proud and delicious history of Gingerbread City. Inspired by the steeply pitched roofs of traditional gingerbread homes, the zig-zag structure bakes new ground in gingerbread construction. The swooping ribbons of gingerbread create a showstopper which is as modern as vegan jelly. The exhibits are suspended from the gingerbread exoskeleton like baubles from a Christmas tree. Each mouthwatering slice opens up the museum to blend the ingredients of indoor and outdoor space, creating the perfect place for gingerbread citizens to enjoy a few rein-beers on a lazy sundae.
About the designers: Nick Baker Architects focus on the pursuit of quality, from the initial concept design through to the delivery of the completed building.
SSC Gingerbread McGingerbread Face
SSC Gingerbread McGingerbread Face is a retired sugar syrup carrier, which recently commenced a new life-chapter as an events venue and a water bus. In its heyday, Gingerbread City was the leading producer of syrup energy: a sweet, sustainable and fragrant fuel in high demand all over the world. Today, its bonbon-ball tanks have been converted into sumptuous spaces for civic assembly, candy art installations and fruity festivities. SSC GingerFace occasionally operates a hops-on-hops-off service between pear drops along the river.
About the designers: Spaced Out is a London based design studio with a global impact. Central to their workflow is an enthusiastic team of creative people who provide services across architecture, interiors, product design, installation and events. Their client base is perpetually evolving, principally through word of mouth
Gingerbread City Hall
City Hall is a place of authority, a place of barriers and rules - the Gingerbread City Hall is different – this is a place that encourages the gingerbread citizens to enjoy public places for their happiness and wellbeing. Imagination is at the heart of this design, moving towards a healthier, more compassionate and greener philosophy where the citizens set the agenda. The Gingerbread City Hall is defined by its offset arches which create an elevated public roof garden accessed from winding ramps that decoratively adorn the elevations. A series of curved planted viewing platforms extend over the river offering breath-taking views of the city for all to enjoy.
About the designers: SPPARC is a renowned London based studio of architects, designers and thinkers. Their philosophies are innovative, yet pragmatic with a fluid style. Sustainability is vital to their design process, ensuring that they have a positive influence on the world around them.
Jardin du Ganache
Townshend Landscape Architects
Jardin du Ganache is a magical winter garden. Paths meander between trees to open glades full of surprise and fun. The playful landscape steps down towards the canal, forming an urban beach against the water.
About the designers: Townshend Landscape Architects are a London-based Landscape Architecture practice established in 1988 by Robert Townshend. The practice specialises in landscape architecture, public realm master planning and urban design in the UK, Europe, Middle East, and the Far East.
The Theatre of Light
This design is conceived of three separate spaces which talk to each other. The overall language of the build is to have a space that is theatrical throughout and gives a nod to the outside audience as well as servicing the audience within the building. The design features a lighthouse element, seen across the Gingerbread City skyline.
About the designers: Turner Works, formerly Carl Turner Architects, is an award-winning, architectural studio, that believes in creating thought-provoking and well-crafted architectural projects. As a studio, they are creative, responsive and not afraid to take a risk when it feels right.