#001 Gingerbread City 2019 – Somerset House

It has been a fantastic year, and what a brilliant way to end it.

This year, like so many before it, has been filled with ups and downs.

This year I became an accredited Architect, it was the start of StudioFAFF, and it’s blog. Not to mention the start of a new role in January 2020.

To finish off the year, I decided to participate in the Gingerbread City 2019 competition collaborating with fellow colleagues in architecture. Our brief was to design a typical London-Style residential refurbishment on a separate island plot.

Primarily located near the Thames, inspiration was not hard to find.

We drew inspiration from the Thames-side dockland factory buildings and Shad Thames to recreate the London style. Adding on features such as floor ties, balconies and old cranes still visible today, the concept began to evolve.

Our brief was to incorporate sustainability to the design. Our refurbished dockland building hosted an airspace development consisting of an urban greenhouse, utilising the natural daylight and orientation.

The whole project took a lot longer than originally anticipated, after 3 or 4 batch gingerbread bakes we finally got the consistency and texture we wanted. Each bake we experimented with details, such as brickwork, Candy Cane glasswork and roofing structure.

Overall, it was a really fun experience, and once we got the hard part (the frame) completed, the detailing of the landscaping and scene settings was where our creativity could really go nuts. Our gingerbread men were staged in a snowball fighting whilst making snow angels off the jelly bean path next to a rather angry snowman… this was not intended but rather a happy accident!

On reflection… It is safe to say I cannot be trusted with sugar supplies. Regarding budgets, always account for twice the amount of sweets…

If you want to hear more behind the scenes tips and information by all means click the link below!




Climate Emergency.

As 2019 draws to an end, its an important time to reflect and reassess.

Throughout the construction industry, Architects have declared a climate emergency. An 11 point declaration has been signed by 811 architecture practices all vowing to collaborate, raise awareness and share knowledge to tackle the current crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.

Architects Declare have recently issued a statement highlighting the proposed Part L 2020 was a regression opposed to progression, during a period when it is most desperately needed, adding that it was vital architects make their voices heard.

In response to raising awareness of climatic breakdown and biodiversity loss, the RIBA committee has issued a challenge  – RIBA Climate Change 2030. Again, encompassing the key actions required to tackle the climate crises.  https://www.architecture.com/about/policy/climate-action

Not only Architects Declare #architectsdeclare but further organisations have formed – Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN). https://www.architectscan.org/home

The AJ issued an article https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/opinion/three-things-architecture-practices-can-do-immediately-to-help-combat-climate-change/10045563.article?blocktitle=Comment&contentID=13641 urging architects to take the first small step towards a brighter future.

There is no Planet B.

I urge you all to reassess the importance of sustainability. To aid in this process, the RIBA has created a document which I highly recommend we all begin to use as the first port of reference.

“The fundamental aim of RIBA Sustainable Outcomes is to distil the complexity of sustainable architectural design into a set of measurable and manageable outcomes that architectural practices can use on a daily basis on projects of all scales.”

RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide