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Joana Vasconcelos: Wedding Cake

Explore Joana Vasconcelos’ extraordinary Wedding Cake, an immersive art installation open again this summer in the grounds at Waddesdon, a unique château in the Chilterns.

Joana Vasconcelos: Wedding Cake Go to... Visit Wedding Cake Top

Wedding Cake at Waddesdon, a 12-metre-tall ceramic sculptural pavilion in the form of a three-tiered cake, is a major Rothschild Foundation commission from celebrated Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. Visitors can step inside this astonishing work of art and enjoy a unique, richly sensory experience.

Part sculpture, part architectural garden folly, the extraordinary structure is a celebration of love, festivity and joy. It is inspired by the exuberant Baroque buildings and decorative ceramic traditions of Lisbon, where Vasconcelos lives and works.

Thousands of gleaming, icing-like ceramic tiles decorate the cake, all made in a traditional Portuguese manufactory and glazed in pale pinks, greens and blues. Further adorned with sculptural ornament and complete with the sounds of trickling water.

Colorful wedding ckae

The Wedding Cake stands within a grove of trees at Waddesdon alongside the 19th-century Dairy, today a sought-after entertaining space. A playful continuation of the history of placing fanciful buildings in gardens and landscapes, which at Waddesdon includes the ornamental Dairy and gilded Rococo-style Aviary.

I want 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.

Joana Vasconcelos
Portrait of the artist by Arlindo Camacho © Atelier Joana Vasconcelos

Wedding Cake is Vasconcelos’ most ambitious commission to date and a perfect complement to Waddesdon. The vision and imagination exemplified in the piece mirror the passion which drove Baron Ferdinand, the creator of Waddesdon, to build the Manor and the Dairy, where he intended that his many friends would be surprised and delighted at every turn. Traditionally-made ceramic tiles speak to the Manor’s world-renowned collection of Sèvres and Meissen porcelain. And the sumptuous decoration of the Wedding Cake reflects the architecture of the house, itself covered in intricate finials and ornaments.

View our short film explaining how Joanna Vasconcelos’ ‘impossible project’ came to life with the help of Lord Jacob Rothschild.

Visit the cake

Explore Wedding Cake on a guided tour or a free flow visit. After a guided tour, you’ll have the chance to explore the collection of contemporary sculpture in the Water Garden at the Dairy including the magnificent Lafite by Vasconcelos.

Tours and visits run from April-October Book Now

For Private Events at the Dairy and Wedding Cake, email

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