The competition drew to a dramatic climax this weekend with 15 professional design houses – and three student teams – all competing to be this year’s WATG’s Great Architectural baker…
Swapping pens for rolling pins, and floor plans for baking ovens, 15 professional design houses – and three student teams – entered this year’s WATG’s Great Architectural Bake-off that took place this weekend. Combining two of life’s finest pleasures, cake and architecture, the competition came to a climax in London’s Guildhall Yard.
The leading design studios were required to let their imagination run wild to create their striking edible entries. Judging the structures were a world-class panel of industry experts including Tom Hetherington, Architect and Great British Bake-Off competitor; Jane Duncan OBE, 75th RIBA president; Bethan Ryder, Digital Editor at Wallpaper*; Peter Murray, Founder of the London Festival of Architecture; Carolyn Dwyer, Director of the Built Environment for the City of London Corporation and Tamsie Thomson, Director of the London Festival of Architecture.
The panel witnessed recreations of landmarks including Wilkinson Eyre’s Gasholders London, Farrells’ MI6, a version of Gaudi’s Park Güell by Squire + Partners and Tower Bridge by Make Architects. Marks were awarded for realistic representation, a creative use of materials and – of course – great tasting cakes. Bonus points were awarded for any bakes that explored the London Festival of Architecture’s annual theme of Identity.
The team from Benoy were crowned grand winners after showcasing their edible version of the Barbican, made from a scrumptious mix of chocolate fudge, wafer, blueberry swirl, ginger and Nutella.
Other entries included teams from SOM, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Squire + Partners and Wilkinson Eyre who battle it out to create the best gourmet version of iconic buildings and landmarks. Stand-out entries included a delicious edible edition of the London Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects, winning tastiest bake, and the Imperial War Museum by Stride Treglown which received an honourable mention for its ingenious use of wartime flavours.
For the very first time, three elite universities also gathered for the inaugural Student Bake-Off which welcomed aspiring architects and bakers alike to flex their culinary and creative skills. Central Saint Martins University whipped up an immaculate version of Succession House in Vienna while University of Greenwich baked Old Royal Navy College. But it was London Metropolitan University who narrowly edged it to be named champion with their semi-demolished version of the V&A’s Robin Hood Gardens, which expertly combined layers of phenomenal sponges of ginger, pistachio and classic Victoria.
Ashley Fauguel, Organiser of WATG’s Great Architectural Bake-Off, commented: “We’ve had a wonderful day here in the City with the teams creating some truly stunning cakes. This is our fourth year hosting the Bake-Off in London, with some of the world’s best architectural practices returning to compete. Along with the student competition, the Bake-Off has brought together both London’s current and next generation of architects for a showcase of their undeniable skill and creativity.”
The event is hosted annually by leading integrated design firm WATG, which organises the competition globally. The London edition was part of the London Festival of Architecture; The City of London is one of the festival’s focus areas for 2018, with Guildhall Yard providing an appropriate picturesque venue for the Bake-Off.