The Pie Factory

by veryagudo

This project is by James Rennie who I have introduced before with other projects and illustrations of his:

First Stage: Wakefield Rhymes


Nursery rhymes are representations of important historical events, most nursery rhymes are parodies of royal and political events in the middle ages. A direct reference to a story involving royalty was punishable by death, a rhyme became a form of code. A child however will sing a nursery rhyme without any knowledge or awareness of the historical events it represents, they will normally attach their own narrative to it. The drawings section the narrative.



Second Stage: The Chef and the Jester

That develops into an exploration of the medieval banquet. How the visual impressiveness of the food and the “performance” of the meal overtakes the quality of taste. scale and grandeur.The occasion is primary. The figures of chef and the jester exchange roles and reciprocate each other.



Third Stage: The Banquet

Exploring: sacrifice, theatre, hope, scale, secrecy and surrealism through event.



Final Stage: The Pie Factory

“My scheme reinstates Wakefield’s medieval typology of the chantry. There where once four chantry chapels that stood at the four key entrance points to the city. Only the one situated at the south of the city remains; the chapel of the Virgin Mary, on Wakefield bridge. Through this symbolic typology I aim to reinvigorate Wakefield’s identity. The four chantries will become places of comfort within the city; celebrating Yorkshire food. Modest and warming food lies at the heart of Yorkshire’s identity and like the chantries, these traditional recipes have been lost or misinterpreted. The pie, which is commonly associated with bad British cooking, was in medieval times the centre of a feast and becomes an analogy for the chantry; appearing modest from the outside, the contents remain a mystery until the first bite. It is only after this bite that the gastronomic narrative begins.


The scheme’s main function serves as a pie factory, located next to The Virgin Mary Chantry. The factory commemorates the four chantries and celebrates Yorkshire food. The four chantry towers stand adjacent to one another, along the River Calder, working together to produce the pies. These pies are then taken to the sites of the other three chantries to be sold.

Within each of the towers is an archive that houses recipes from their respective quarters of Wakefield, as well as a banquet space, where both contemporary and traditional Yorkshire food can be tried and enjoyed.”