explore joana vasconcelos' three-tier ceramic wedding cake pavilion at waddesdon garden

explore joana vasconcelos' three-tier ceramic wedding cake pavilion at waddesdon garden

12-meters-high wedding cake by  joana vasconcelos

 

Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos and Waddesdon Manor imagine a giant wedding cake served at ceremonies as a garden sculpture and public art baked with ceramic tiles and architected in three tiers. Rothschild Foundation has commissioned the artist to design the cotton candy-colored part-sculpture, part-architecture dessert at the Waddesdon Manor in the UK, whose design was first unveiled in February 2023. Months later, the Manor is set to offer tours in and out of the five-years-in-the-making wedding cake between June 18th and October 26th, 2023.

 

The inedible cake reaches 12 meters high with expressive details that mirror the icing, sprinkles, and toppers dressing up wedding cakes. Vasconcelos’ Wedding Cake looms over the expansive British garden with its enormous, fully immersive, and alluring sculpture that combines pâtisserie and architecture. The grand display patches 25, 150 Viúva Lamego ceramic tiles of 99 different types and 1,238 Viúva Lamego ceramic pieces of 52 different types alongside adornments such as mermaids, dolphins, candles, and globes are poised to envelop the three-tier wedding cake. 

explore joana vasconcelos' three-tier ceramic wedding cake pavilion at waddesdon garden
all photos © A Rothschild House and Garden, by Chris Lacey (unless stated) | images courtesy of Atelier Joana Vasconcelos and Waddesdon Manor

 

 

Garden parties and ceramic tradition influences

 

Joana Vasconcelos’ Wedding Cake grandly puts wedding and ceremonial cake traditions into play, whipped with the profound history of the manor. Inspired by the exuberant Baroque buildings and highly decorative ceramic traditions of Lisbon where the artist lives and works, the three-tier wedding cake responds to the great Rothschild traditions of hospitality with echoes of 18th-century garden pavilions. Showered with icing-like ornaments both in and out, the rich sensory experience it brings – glazed in pale pinks, greens, and blues – is heightened with the sounds of trickling water and a site-specific lighting scheme.

 

Wedding Cake is Vasconcelos’ most ambitious commission to date, which she describes as ‘a temple of love.’ It stands in a grove of trees opposite the 19th-century Dairy, which was designed by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to entertain his guests at his home parties. The sculpture-architecture may remind visitors of the European tradition of erecting elaborate structures amid gardens and landscapes. The cake also forms part of Lord Rothschild’s increasing collection of modern and historic sculptures. The entrance of the Wedding Cake metaphorically expresses a giant and towering symbol of love and happiness.

explore joana vasconcelos' three-tier ceramic wedding cake pavilion at waddesdon garden
image © A Rothschild House and Garden | photo by Chris Lacey

 

 

Wedding cake as a temple of love

 

Joana Vasconcelos says that an enormous undertaking such as her wedding cake could only happen with the vision and encouragement provided by a generous patron such as Lord Rothschild. ‘He could see its dreamlike potential, believe in it and provide the means to make it come true. I have been addressing the subject of love through my career for almost 30 years now, but this is my biggest challenge so far,’ she says.

 

The artist adds that many artists have impossible projects under their belt, and for her, the sculptural and architectural cake is the one she can call hers. ‘I wanted people to have three different approaches to it: looking from the outside, enjoying the surroundings from the different levels or balconies and rising to the top, finally completing the artwork with their presence. Above all, I always thought of it as a temple to love,’ she says.

explore joana vasconcelos' three-tier ceramic wedding cake pavilion at waddesdon garden
image © A Rothschild House and Garden | photo by Chris Lacey

joana-vasconcelos-wedding-cake-designboom-ban

image © A Rothschild House and Garden | photo by Chris Lacey

explore joana vasconcelos' three-tier ceramic wedding cake pavilion at waddesdon garden
photo © Lionel Balteiro for Atelier Joana Vasconcelos

explore joana vasconcelos' three-tier ceramic wedding cake pavilion at waddesdon garden
photo © Lionel Balteiro for Atelier Joana Vasconcelos

joana-vasconcelos-wedding-cake-designboom-1800

Wedding Cake by Joana Vasconcelos at Waddesdon Manor | photo © Lionel Balteiro for Atelier Joana Vasconcelos

explore joana vasconcelos' three-tier ceramic wedding cake pavilion at waddesdon garden
image © A Rothschild House and Garden | photo by Chris Lacey

explore joana vasconcelos' three-tier ceramic wedding cake pavilion at waddesdon garden
image © A Rothschild House and Garden | photo by Chris Lacey

explore joana vasconcelos' three-tier ceramic wedding cake pavilion at waddesdon garden
image © A Rothschild House and Garden | photo by Chris Lacey

joana-vasconcelos-wedding-cake-designboom-ban2

image © A Rothschild House and Garden | photo by Chris Lacey

 

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image 3D render © Atelier Joana Vasconcelos
image 3D render © Atelier Joana Vasconcelos
image 3D render © Atelier Joana Vasconcelos
image 3D render © Atelier Joana Vasconcelos
image 3D render © Atelier Joana Vasconcelos
image 3D render © Atelier Joana Vasconcelos
image 3D render © Atelier Joana Vasconcelos
image 3D render © Atelier Joana Vasconcelos

project info:

 

name: Wedding Cake

artist: Joana Vasconcelos

patron: Lord Jacob Rothschild

commission: Rothschild Foundation

location: Waddesdon Manor, England

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