Cupcake Pavilion

The Cupcake Pavilion is an initiative by multidisciplinary design collective OH.NO.SUMO. I had the pleasure of catching-up with the talented team at the Best Awards on Friday. On top of that, it was great to see them receive the prestigious Gold Pin award for The Cupcake Pavilion (along with another silver for Paper Sky), making this post an extra special one. I’m really happy they got the recognition they deserved for the stunning and very clever piece of work – well done guys!

OH.NO.SUMO started as a creative outlet for four friends who graduated from architecture school. The collective was established in Auckland in early 2009 by Patrick Loo, Katherine O’Shaugnessy, Sarosh Mulla and James Pearce.

The Cupcake Pavilion project represents self initiated design research carried out as a cooperative commercial and philanthropic venture. The Cupcake Pavilion was a temporary structure used to house 1000 artisan cupcakes for a one day sale to raise funds for Starship Children’s Hospital.

The pavilion is made of simple, cheap, recyclable, laser cut corrugated cardboard. 463 pieces slot together to form the pavilion. It is able to be flat packed into a small truck.

Not only was the design and construction of this Pavilion carefully considered but the collaborative partnership and sponsorship was well thoughtout. The sponsors for this project were never asked for monetary donation. Instead this project demonstrates a different model for architectural philanthropy. Each company donates its specialist skill or product. The resultant whole being greater than its individual parts. The collection of skills provides for a cross-disciplinary approach to the project team, while the relatively low cost of supplying ones own product, reduces the financial burden on companies caught within an economic downturn.

All 1000 cupcakes were sold in a whopping 90mins leaving people craving for more. The Cupcake Pavilion generated over $3000, which was used to purchase incubator blankets for premature babies.

One of the key aims for the project was to use architecture to make a tangible positive impact on the society in which we live. I take my hat off to these guys as they have done exactly that. The Cupcake Pavillion generated a lot of positive conversations within the general public. Sure, most were probably in it for the scrumptious artisan cupcakes and to support a good cause. But it’s really good to see that OH.NO.SUMO have utilized their talents and expertise through the use of architecture to make this all possible and created a memorable piece of design.

If you want more information about the pavilion, check-out OH.NO.SUMO’s website:

You can also view their video in Vimeo:

Big thanks to Patrick from OH.NO.SUMO for providing all the details for this post. Also, thanks to Sarosh Mulla and Sophie Leuschke for the great photography!

2 Responses to “Cupcake Pavilion”
  1. Margarita says:

    Absolutely awesome – both concept and presentation =)

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