This is where it all started – with architects swapping CAD for cake. Before lockdow, in previous editions of the festival the Architecture Bake Off involved architecture practices working in teams with their practice colleagues to compete against other practices to construct some of London’s best buildings in cake for. This year, in lockdown, practices had to select on person (and maybe their family) to represent their practice. We had 15 practices submit their cakes for the ‘architecture practice’ category of the LFA Bake Off this year. Who will win? Join our live results on Thursday 11 June.
St Paul’s Cathedral
- Amrit Ubha, John Finch Partnership (LFA01)
“Being a fresh-ish architecture graduate and keen baker, I was excited to sign up for the LFA Bake Off. I chose St Paul’s Cathedral, as I’m a fan of London’s historical architecture, though I think my love for baroque blinded me from the scale of the challenge!
The main volumes of the cathedral have been constructed with banana loaf, madeira cake and brownies, and the colonnade of the dome consists of chocolate-covered biscuit pillars. Royal icing is used for ornamentation, and the lantern is made from a white chocolate truffle.
Like any decent design model, St Paul’s “Cakedral” took a lot of time, resources, and revisions to the original idea, and I’ve definitely learnt that cake is a lot harder to work with than cardboard… I’m happy to say that I’ve recreated an iconic London landmark, and my family are definitely happy to have dessert sorted for the next week!”
Battersea Power Station
- Milena Aleksieva, Lyons + Sleeman + Hoare Architects Ltd (LFA02)
Architects do like to examine buildings in detail, and we are no exception. LSH Architect’s submission is a bay elevation study of Battersea Power Station made of chocolate and vanilla cakes sandwiched with buttercream and a gingerbread façade decorated with chocolate fenestration and brandy snap chimney towers. The selection of which building to recreate in baked goods was done via a majority vote of staff members and final bake and execution completed by our project architect Milena Aleksieva. Following submission. “Battersea Cake Station” will be donated to the surrounding key workers as a small ‘Thank you’ to all their hard work. We just need to make sure it fits through the door!
- Rashed Mustafa & Matt Hinkins, West Waddy ADP (LFA03)
We chose the Colour Palace in Dulwich for its sheer vibrancy, striking form, and textures. To create the main body of the pavilion, we baked 3 tiers of vanilla sponge with hidden coloured sponge shapes incorporated within them to mirror the external appearance. The layers of sponge were wrapped in bright buttercream icing, which was scored to resemble the pavilion’s panelled facade. Chamfered wafers were used to create the 45-degree flares at its base, while Rice Crispy’s and melted marshmallows were shaped into columns using cylinders of acetate to form the main structure and keep our pavilion afloat. Fondant icing shapes pressed in corrugated card grooves were the finishing touch to our exciting bake.
Battersea Power Station
- Boano Prišmontas, Boano Prismontas (LFA04)
“We really enjoyed the process of baking this cake as it reminded us once again how important it is to always maintain a playful attitude while making, testing, and often improvising solutions with what is readily available. This attitude is well embedded in our company since when we started crafting and manufacturing our design projects.
About the cake. The inner core is a chocolate sponge, covered on all sides with fondant icing, topped with a meringue made from chickpea water and sugar. The cake is vegan-friendly, made without using any animal products.”
- Orla Maguire, Oscar & Oscar (LFA05)
The main sponge is lemon flavoured, triangular sponge is raspberry flavoured. Layers are held together with lemon & elderflower buttercream and homemade raspberry jam. Structural supports are stacked lemon shortbread biscuits, glued together with lemon & elderflower icing. I wanted to try to make the interior as fun & interesting as the exterior hence the repetition of the pattern…although this is actually a case of ‘the dog ate my homework’, I had pre-made the red & blue sponges, ready for the main bake on Saturday, went for a pre bake walk and found that the dog had helped himself to all of the blue sponge while I was out…so the final blue sponge had to be made with the blue food colouring that was left in the cupboard, obviously not enough!
- Ranu Kohli Sharma, Craft Architects (LFA07)
Pricegore x Yinka Ilori’s kaleidoscopic pavilion brings to life colours that nature offers in abundance. All colours beautiful & fascinating. The scaled 120mm cube is a 3 layer orange sponge cake sanwiched with coconut flavoured buttercream. The facade is strips of baked whole wheat biscuits, iced and hand painted. The stilts on which the cake floats are red fondant. I wish you could taste the cake as it is, but next time! Thank you for organising this.
Palace of Westminster
- Kelsey and Flora, Pilbrow & Partners (LFA09)
“Our submission gave us the opportunity to explore the Palace of Westminster in detail. Through multiple scales we aimed to show the immensity of the building but also highlight the detail found within the architecture.
To do this, we investigated the complexity of the internal layout at a larger scale by layering the maze of buildings around the many internal courtyards. At a detailed scale, focusing on Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) and using piping techniques, we are able to celebrate the complexity of the gothic style.”
- Andrew Newell, Sybarite (LFA10)
“We chose Colour Palace as a reminder of everything we love about pre-lock down London; a space designed specifically for people to mingle (remember mingling?) and break down barriers, a place of colour, vitality and a celebration of culture beyond our small shores. A bold, courageous, architectural juxtaposition for Dulwich Picture Gallery. THIS is our London and we say let’s have more of it!
We celebrate Yinka Illori’s journey through the arts, as it’s our firm belief that the boundaries of design and creativity should be more fluid – we can be both architect + portrait painter, furniture designer + architect and, in the case of our baker, the best darn information IT mind / render-farm builder in the land, whose arrival in the studio with a brownie tray bake used to be the highlight of Sybarite’s week.
Like the judges, we wish we could see this, eat this, share this.”
St Paul’s Cathedral
- TSW Architects (LFA11)
St Paul’s Cathedral made in Sri Lanka! A three tier butter cake construction made the main body of the cake with layers of mango jam and buttercream frosting. The facade is made of butter shortbread biscuits with chocolate decoration to highlight the windows, columns and shadows. The main dome is solid white chocolate, all balanced on a biscuit and sponge base for support, with chocolate chips to highlight the columns. Missing all our university architect friends in London inspired us to take part in the LFA Bakeoff this year. Made by Architect Jayne Breakwell with the moral support of husband Sasha (also an Architect), Leo (4) and Thea (2) with ingredients found in the cupboard for our Colombo coronavirus curfew bakeoff!
- Abeer Fatima & Takbir Fatima, DesignAware (LFA12)
The lockdown is strict in India, only essential supplies available at select shops in non-curfew hours. We have trouble getting even eggs and bread at times! So we had to make do with whatever was at hand. Living in the heritage city of Hyderabad, known for its rich history, culture, architecture and especially culinary traditions, we created a cake based on a traditional dessert: Shahi Tukde (Royal Pieces), a decadent dessert made of special milk bread deep-fried and drenched in sugar syrup, topped with fresh cream and chopped nuts. We love the Color Palace’s changing facade that plays games on the senses when viewed from different angles. It proves that different people have varying perspectives to even shared experiences. Studying the intermixing of color, we used colored fondant to cover the Shahi Tukde structure and cut out geometric shapes. To capture the layering of colors, sprinkles add depth. Like the Color Palace, there’s a surprise inside: layers of rainbow colors between the slices!
- Eleanor Cranke CZWG (LFA13)
A sumptuously stripy piece of fluffy sweet vanilla and toffee post modernism. Forged together with a super tangy orange mortar (butter cream) and clad with hand painted icing and marzipan tiles. All lovingly topped off with a bright, vibrant green peaked roof garden. Loved by all in our lockdown household and feeding us till sometime next year! Thanks No.1 Poultry for your smashing courtyard inspiration.
Battersea Power Station
- Shema John, TASH ARCHITECTS (LFA14)
“The photo that LFA posted of the Battersea Power Station was compelling as it show cased this old utility building hulking over a bridge in the night shadows. The decision to bake the Battersea power station was sealed when we read that the building is being currently brought back to life as one of the most exciting and innovative mixed use neighborhoods in the world. Mixed use precincts as a solution to today’s urban challenges have always been our passion and conviction.
The Battersea Power station continues to serve her community in a meaningful way as she did in the past, supplying a fifth of London’s electricity.”
Kate Edmondson, Penoyre & Prasad (LFA17)
“It has taken All-sorts to create this bake on James Stirling’s groundcaking PoMo treat – no.1 Poultry. It is a powerful statement against mainstream architecture and preserved in sugar
We know it’s not everyone’s Jam – but it gets the crumbs up from us. Just look at those sandwiched layers of coloured sponge sculpted to reveal those sweet curves, angles, and colonnades of this London icon. There is even a hidden triangular courtyard. An array of allsorts are quite literally the icing on the cake – picking out Stirling’s signature coloured windows, punched openings and that iconic clock tower. Seriously dough these details bake all the difference!”
- Charlotte Knight, Stride Treglown (LFA18)
“We chose to make the Colour Palace Pavilion which is a celebration of colour and pattern. To reflect this, our bake is made of a combination of a strawberry Angel Delight cake and an orange cake made with orange zest and orange essence. The vibrant flavours and colours encourage thoughts of summertime, looking hopefully towards a season of fun, festival and good times ahead.
Structurally, our cake includes homemade gingerbread biscuits, the piers are made from flapjack for density and stability, decorated with icing. The stairs are made from home-made shortbread biscuits. The cladding is Mikado biscuit sticks coloured with edible spray paint.
Our team was a cross-office collaboration; Charlotte from our Plymouth office was our star baker, with design input from Aaron, also from Plymouth and Rachel from London. Our showstopper is an explosion of colour and flavour – which tasted amazing – and a celebration of multi-studio team work!”
Alistair Backhouse, Farrells (LFA19)
Presenting a succulent strawberry and vanilla sponge cake with a velvety butternut squash filling, topped with strawberry icing. Playful yet alternative flavours from natural ingredients were selected to stand out and delight, much in the spirit of the building. Sugar glass decoration completes the iconic clock tower and facade.