Iconic structures take centre stage at The Great Architectural Bake-Off

Cake creations at The Great Architectural Bake-Off last Saturday included those inspired by local condominium The Interlace, the Esplanade and Gardens by the Bay.
Cake creations at The Great Architectural Bake-Off last Saturday included those inspired by local condominium The Interlace, the Esplanade and Gardens by the Bay.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Cake creations at The Great Architectural Bake-Off last Saturday included those inspired by local condominium The Interlace, the Esplanade and Gardens by the Bay.
Cake creations at The Great Architectural Bake-Off last Saturday included those inspired by local condominium The Interlace, the Esplanade and Gardens by the Bay.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Cake creations at The Great Architectural Bake-Off last Saturday included those inspired by local condominium The Interlace, the Esplanade and Gardens by the Bay.
Cake creations at The Great Architectural Bake-Off last Saturday included those inspired by local condominium The Interlace, the Esplanade and Gardens by the Bay.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Iconic structures take centre stage at The Great Architectural Bake-Off

The Esplanade finally lived up to its nickname when it tasted - and smelt - like durian at cake-making competition The Great Architectural Bake-Off last Saturday.

A team from local firm DP Architects won the inaugural contest that challenges the baking skills of designers and architects with a creation shaped exactly like the exterior of the iconic arts centre.

Enclosed within one of the Esplanade's spiky domes was a four-layer cake made from durian and buttercream, while the other was the flavour of another local favourite, chocolate malt drink Milo.

DP Architects' associate director Bernard Tay said the victory was especially sweet. Not only did the firm co-design the actual Esplanade, which recently celebrated its 15th birthday, with British company Michael Wilford & Partners (MWP), the architectural company is also celebrating its 50th year this year.

Mr Tay said: "We chose to do the Esplanade because it was a building our team could all relate to. We all have a personal memory of it."

It was not the only entry inspired by the Esplanade. Property advisory firm Cistri's cake was shaped like the interior of the arts centre's concert hall and was topped with real durian shell.

There were other edible versions of famous local buildings in the competition, including the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) rendition of award-winning local condominium The Interlace and interior design firm Ministry of Design's replica of iconic local condominium Pearl Bank Apartments.

CPG Consultants' edible version of Gardens by the Bay, which it also had a hand in creating, was deemed the tastiest creation by the judges, thanks to its mix of flavours such as bandung and mango.

Parks + Associates went old-school and created a cake designed like an old shophouse.

Taking inspiration from overseas, global architectural firm WATG made a cake version of the boat-shaped Crowne Plaza Haitang Bay in China. It won second prize.

The tallest entry was architecture firm Gensler's 1m-tall recreation of China's Shanghai Tower.

The Great Architectural Bake Off, organised by WATG and inspired by popular British reality series The Great British Bake Off, held its first edition in London in 2015. It is also organised in New York and the Singapore edition was its first in Asia.

The judging panel in the local edition included executive director of Singapore Institute of Architecture, Mr Fong Hoo Cheong; managing director of The Culinary Institute of America, Ms Eve Felder; and The Business Times' architecture and design correspondent, Ms Tay Suan Chiang.

Ms Felder praised the winning cake's "beauty and simplicity". "It had an amazing attention to detail. Their teamwork was clear from the beginning. When they were putting the whole thing together, they were working like a well-organised machine. The final result was absolutely beautiful."

The event, which was open to the public and attracted about 200 cake and design fans, was part of annual architecture festival Archifest, which ended yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2017, with the headline 'Buildings good enough to eat'. Print Edition | Subscribe