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Cake Central user serkyen

17 Cakes Inspired By Real Buildings

Cake Central user serkyen
Cake Central user serkyen

For most of us, making a regular cake is tough enough—but these bakers created cakes inspired by buildings, and the results are incredible.

1. Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel

To celebrate their centennial, the folks at Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel commissioned Guittard Chocolate Company pastry chef Donald Wressell to create a replica of the hotel that weighed 4000 pounds. While many cakes of this magnitude are mostly made of inedible pieces covered in fondant, this impressive feat of cake engineering was enough to provide 15,000 slices to the celebrities, dignitaries, and other partygoers enjoying the anniversary party.

2. Burj Al Arab 

Dubai’s Burj Al Arab actually claims to be the most luxurious hotel in the world. When even cakes based on the destination include its vertigo-inducing tennis court, who are we to argue with their claims? This cakestravaganza was created by Cake Central user serkyen.

3. The Smithsonian

The Smithsonian celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1998 with nine cakes. The official birthday cake looked like the Smithsonian Castle—the location of the institution's administrative offices—and was created by Laureen Gauthier of the New England Culinary Institute.

4. Philadelphia Art Museum

While the cake might be missing the iconic “Rocky Steps” that lead up to the structure, Cake Central user tguegirl did a fantastic job recreating the buildings and fountain. The main building is made of vanilla cake with chocolate ganache and homemade caramel filling, while the side wings are vanilla cake with chocolate ganache and fresh raspberry filling.

5. The National Mall

Recreating some of the famous buildings and landmarks of the National Mall in Washington D.C. is a monumental task. Cake Central user bigcatz created this massive stretch of sweets for a woman who was relocating to the nation’s capital.

6. The Vatican

This Vatican cake by Annette’s Heavenly Cakes is something even the pope could appreciate.  

7. Wrigley Field

The Cake Boss was honored to help the Chicago Cubs celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field by putting together this fondant-laden stadium. On the downside, a lot of fans were disappointed to see the whole 400 pound creation end up in the trash the same night.

8. Yankee Stadium

This cake by Enchanted Icing, which looks like the new Yankee Stadium, was created for Bar Mitzvah.

9. Alberta Legislature Building

Don’t worry, Canadians: We’ve got a few of your iconic buildings featured here too. For example, this delightful Alberta Legislature Building that Cake Couture Edible Art was commissioned to bake for the building’s 100th birthday.

10. Petit Seminaire de Quebec

Cake Central user patisseriejaja baked this replica of the roof portion of her husband’s college, Petit Seminaire de Quebec, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his graduation from the school. The cake is chocolate with cream cheese filling, covered with chocolate ganache then with fondant. The bell tower is Rice Krispies treats covered with chocolate and then with fondant. It sounds like this thing is as delicious as it is beautiful.

11. The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Usually when a cake slouches, it’s because something terrible has happened, but Cake Central user CakeDiosa built the slouch into the design for this impressive Leaning Tower of Pisa cake that was made for a young girl heading off to Italy.

12. Patio De Los Arrayanes

Also known by its English name, The Court of the Myrtles, this beautiful patio area is one of the most famous icons of the Alhambra palace in Grenada. This cake version is made with gluten free almond and chocolate cakes, lemon butter cream, whipped ganache, berry glaze, fondant, gumpaste, and royal icing. It was created by Edible Incredible.

13. Haymarket Train Station

Cake Central user Mark_Mywords did an impressive job recreating this Edinburgh station for someone's birthday.

14. Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Marvin’s Cakes created this tribute for the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center’s 10th anniversary in 1999. The front attachment on the cake might look a little odd to some viewers, but if you take a look at pictures of the center, that is exactly what the research building looks like.

15. Chichen Itza Temple

Here’s a more ancient icon for your tasting pleasure. Made by Heavenly Bites Cakes, it was commissioned as a birthday present for a man from the Yucatan region who hadn’t been able to return home for a long time. There’s no denying that munching down on cake is a great way to get over homesickness.

16. Church of Holy Cross

This iconic Greek landmark on the island of Santorini is brought to life in this delicious dessert by Cake Central user anxeli.

17. Sydney Opera House

Want to make the Sydney Opera House in gum paste? Sprinkle Bakes walks you through a lot of her creative process.

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Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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architecture
Qatar National Library's Panorama-Style Bookshelves Offer Guests Stunning Views
Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The newly opened Qatar National Library in the capital city of Doha contains more than 1 million books, some of which date back to the 15th century. Co.Design reports that the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) designed the building so that the texts under its roof are the star attraction.

When guests walk into the library, they're given an eyeful of its collections. The shelves are arranged stadium-style, making it easy to appreciate the sheer number of volumes in the institution's inventory from any spot in the room. Not only is the design photogenic, it's also practical: The shelves, which were built from the same white marble as the floors, are integrated into the building's infrastructure, providing artificial lighting, ventilation, and a book-return system to visitors. The multi-leveled arrangement also gives guests more space to read, browse, and socialize.

"With Qatar National Library, we wanted to express the vitality of the book by creating a design that brings study, research, collaboration, and interaction within the collection itself," OMA writes on its website. "The library is conceived as a single room which houses both people and books."

While most books are on full display, OMA chose a different route for the institution's Heritage Library, which contains many rare, centuries-old texts on Arab-Islamic history. This collection is housed in a sunken space 20 feet below ground level, with beige stone features that stand out from the white marble used elsewhere. Guests need to use a separate entrance to access it, but they can look down at the collection from the ground floor above.

If Qatar is too far of a trip, there are plenty of libraries in the U.S. that are worth a visit. Check out these panoramas of the most stunning examples.

Qatar library.

Qatar library.

Qatar library.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images: Arend Kuester, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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After Four Months, a Frank Lloyd Wright House in Glencoe, Illinois Goes Back on the Market

Most architecture nerds would be thrilled to live in an original Frank Lloyd Wright house, and occasionally, they get their chance—as long as they’re willing to pay a few million dollars. As of late 2017, there were Frank Lloyd Wright homes for sale in New York, Minnesota, Ohio, Connecticut, and elsewhere for $1 million dollars or more (in some cases, way more). Sometimes, you can find a deal, though, like the $445,000 Usonian home that went on the market in Michigan in 2016.

Sadly, as Curbed reports, a newly for-sale Wright house in Glencoe, Illinois is not such a deal anymore. Only three months after its $752,000 sale, the 1914 Kier House in suburban Chicago has been renovated and is back on the market for $837,500.

Many Wright homes need a little love after decades of use. For one thing, the architect is somewhat notorious for building leaky roofs. Their small kitchens and shag carpeting are no longer quite so desirable, either.

But for many buyers and architects, restoring a Wright home is a labor of love, one that often takes several years and aims to respect the original designer’s genius while bringing the house up to modern standards. (For some of the historic homes, permanent easements also prohibit most exterior alterations, further limiting what a remodel can involve.)

The Prairie School-style house, though it has Honorary Landmark status, isn’t entirely original to Wright. It has a more modern kitchen, a new family room, and updated bathrooms (with a steam shower!). Previous owner Susan Cowen, who owned the house for a number of years and spent an undisclosed amount on refurbishing it, sold the residence in January to a pair of documentary filmmakers, according to Patch. The sale, which included a significant price drop, only took a few months. They, in turn, made a number of improvements. The owners fixed up the chimneys, boiler, and furnace, added a limestone bar separating the kitchen and dining room, and raised part of the ceiling above the stairs.

Now, four months later, it’s on sale again, and, thanks to the upgrades, a little pricier. The latest sellers may find, though, that not every Wright sale goes as quickly as their purchase. The architect’s homes are highly prized, but also known to be very difficult to sell, sometimes languishing on the market for years before finding a buyer.

[h/t Curbed]

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