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WATG x Archifest Great Architectural Bake-Off

The inaugural Asian edition of the Great Architectural Bake-Off saw some of the region’s landmarks rise (and almost fall) from flour and sugar.



BY Asih Jenie

19 October, 2017


Held from 4 to 15 October, the eleventh edition of Archifest did away with its annual tradition of an Archifest Pavilion in favour of a longer list of events built upon five pillars – Archi-interfaces (exhibitions, installations and performances), Archicraft, Architours, Conversations and Conferences. 

One of the crowd favourites, and by crowd we mean both the architecture industry and the general public, was the Great Architectural Bake-Off (GABO). Held at The Working Capitol Keong Saik Road last Saturday, the event saw eight prominent architectural practices and institutions battling it out to construct iconic buildings entirely out of cake.

Inspired by TV show The Great British Bake-Off, GABO was initiated by hospitality firm WATG and Wimberly Interiors in 2015 to celebrate the firm’s twenty-fifth anniversary at the London Festival of Architecture. The success of the event was more than enough to give it a boost to cross the pond to New York in 2016. This year it made its Asian debut in Singapore as part of Archifest 2017’s Archicraft lineup.

The eight contestants had two hours to assemble pre-baked edible components of their cakes at TWC’s The Commons before presenting them to the judges, who gave their points based on presentation and taste.

Among the edible creations were the Pearlbank cake by Ministry of Design, topped with a King Kong-shape biscuit; a very detailed Singapore shophouse by Park + Associates, completed with 46 biscuit windows and individually shaped fondant roof tiles; and a clever The Interlace cake rendered in layers of chocolate and matcha by the URA.

CPG Consultants created an elaborate miniature of Gardens by the Bay with a variety of smaller cakes, twin sugar domes and pudding supertrees. The tallest (and most precariously balanced) creation of the day was Gensler’s one-metre-tall coconut-and-lime cake rendition of the Shanghai Tower.

And who could resist the Esplanade and its visual kinship with durian? Cistri recreated the interior of the venue’s concert hall and presented it with a real durian shell, while DP Architects built very faithful and detailed miniatures of the spiky domes (one durian flavoured, the other chocolate Milo flavoured).

This all-white Esplanade cake was eventually crowned as the 2017 GABO Singapore winner. Meanwhile, WATG’s entry of the boat-shaped Yanlord Crowne Plaza Resort in China’s Hainan Island was named the runner-up and CPG’s edible Gardens by Bay honourably mentioned as the most delicious.  

Following the success of this inaugural Asian edition, WATG is looking forward to hosting GABO in Singapore again next year, and possibly making the event an annual tradition like its UK and US editions. 


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