26th November 2019

Gingerbread City – Caramel Wafer Tram Bridge

Our London team’s latest design could be mistaken for an entry in a baking contest. It is actually their exhibit for the Museum of Architecture’s annual Gingerbread City event. This year’s theme is transport and the London team, led by Claire Young and Dominique Pitman, have created the Caramel Wafer Tram Bridge. The bridge is designed to bring nature to the connected quarter, acting as a green gateway to Castle Hill. This is in keeping with Civic Engineers’ ethos to create inspirational structures and places that have a positive impact on the environment and enable people to lead healthier and happier lives, whilst staying at the forefront of engineering design.

The garden bridge concept seeks to improve the welfare of all gingerbread city dwellers by encouraging them to use sustainable models of transport such as public trams, cycling and walking. The truss structural system is a practical interpretation of tree roots and the water turbine utilises water from the river below to irrigate the tree canopy whilst producing renewable energy in an effort to reduce (bi)-carbon(ate) emissions and provide a liveable environment for all baked folk! 

This is the event’s fourth year, organised by the Museum of Architecture, this year it is being held at Somerset House, London. The exhibition is a mini edible city created by architects, engineers and designers using cutting edge technologies and design ideas whilst also testing their baking expertise. Apparently, the exhibition also smells divine!  Open from 7th Dec to 5th Jan to all (ticket fees apply), visitors can vote for their favourite structures and prizes will be awarded for the three most popular designs.  Funds raised through the exhibition go to programming and exhibitions. 

The design process is now complete and the team met this weekend for the ‘first bake/construction’ phase.  Claire commented that the key challenge will be forming the curved trusses as this will involve bending sheet metal to act as formwork.  All’s well so far, so we may find we have a contestant for 2020’s Great British Bake Off in our midst.  A progress update will follow with photos of the construction phase so you can judge for yourself!

Frank Rigby, Alfie Brewster, Ed Robinson, Claire Young, Tom Hogan, Dominique Pitman & Polly Natynczuk