Skeleton base
Gingerbread city view 1
MCA_Gingerbread City_View 2

‘Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum’ is the contribution created by Matteo Cainer Architecture for the 2019 Edition of the GINGERBREAD CITY' an annual exhibition, now in its fourth year, organised by the Museum of Architecture. It aims to connect the public with architecture in an exciting way and spark important conversations around cities and how we live in them.

The 2019 edition explored the theme ‘transport’ with over 100 architects, engineers and designers expected to use their design expertise to create a city that explores imaginative new ways of moving around our densely populated cities.

MCA Gingerbread City Sketch


The project feeds on the resilience of nature, its ability to change, to evolve and grow into new forms of life that can negotiate a new coexistence. There needs to be a shift in the way we think about the environment, and this needs to happen at multiple scales and across all systems. We need to foster awareness and meaningful strategies that are imbued with agency to encourage new behaviours and justifiable trends.

Our contribution to Gingerbread City 2019 grows from this desire to bring about change in a very dramatic yet magical way. What better solution than the English fairy tale, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, connecting humans to nature as a form of tactical creativity. The enchanted park celebrates the ability of nature to redesign its own territory, its landscape, its meaning and its relationship with the constructed world. At the same time, this will offer the ‘residents of the city’ a new way to stay fit and to connect and transport themselves to a ‘new world’ through nature’s lymphatic system.

The idea of the project came not only because we wanted to make a statement and create awareness within the wider debate about cities, especially in this festive environment, but it was also about storytelling and a conceptual interpretation of the thematic of sustainable transportation and the site limitations (a column in the middle of our plot!). The column becomes literally the beanstalk that is completely out of scale, therefore influencing and reaching out within the landscape and park. There are also other ‘magic beans’ that have become a lake, a skate park, and an amphitheatre, all to serve the people of Gingerbread City.

MCA Gingerbread City view 6

Design: Matteo Cainer 
Material: Gingerbread, fondant, sugar, various sweets. 
Dimensions: 180 x 120 x 100cm
Exhibition Location: Somerset House, London UK
Client: MOA Museum of Architecture
Exhibition date: 7th of December till the 5th of January 2020