Art deco feast for Cakefest 2016

John Gilbert Architects created an Art Deco feast for Cake Fest Scotland 2016 with a sweet and musical Rothesay Pavilion.

As part of Festival of Architecture Cake Fest, Cake Fest participants chose from Scotland’s 100 favourite buildings and brought their creations to Cowane’s Hospital in Stirling on Sunday 11 September to form an edible map. Rothesay Pavilion was particularly interesting to the JGA team with its distinctive 1930s facade and cantilever balcony. The team decided to make a section of the building and cutaway at the back to show the dancehall inside.

JGA’s Rothesay Pavilion was constructed from madeira, marzipan and royal icing and had an innovative musical element in the dancehall. Alongside a vintage band and dancers, a hidden speaker and MP3 player generated 1903s music for cake admirers.

The project involved design team meetings, careful planning, detailed design work and a very late Friday night practical completion. Project Manager Heather Harbison praised the team for attention to detail and problem-solving.

“Each team member was given a different area to work on and this ensured that each detail was carefully considered and well executed. The assembly process focused on how to fit the sponge pieces efficiently and achieve maximum structural strength. Once the building was wind and watertight, we applied a royal icing render and details such as windows, flagpole and landscaping.”

“The cantilever balcony was our biggest challenge as it is the most recognisable part of the building. Thanks to Nada’s technical skills and detailing of gingerbread and sponge, it was very successful and held up well.”

Materials included bespoke gingerbread for the balcony and roof,  liquorice, Mikado biscuits and edible rice paper which was printed with dancehall scenes and the building’s iconic signage. The cake is 98% edible (excluding the flagpole and support skewers). Royal icing formed a robust render which was essential during transit and as it was an outdoor event, sealed the sponge from the elements. Rooflights were formed by melting clear mints which were shaped, cooled and fitted to the roof.

The real Rothsay Pavillion is currently being restored and transformed in to a community and cultural hub by Elder & Cannon architects. We thank them for their help with the cake and wish the project good luck!