When architects and designers are tasked to design with gingerbread and frosting, anything is possible. Imagine a three-foot replica of Chicago’s Federal Building adorned with chocolate windowpanes, or a traditional pagoda, beside a melted blue cough drop lake.
These were just some of the edible masterpieces unveiled at Gingerbuild, Allsteel’s third annual challenge for Chicago’s architectural and design community. Hosted December 11 at the Allsteel/Gunlocke Chicago Merchandise Mart Resource Center, the competition and reception attracted about 150 guests including 24 architecture and design firms who demonstrated their imagination and ingenuity with the creation of gingerbread constructions. All of the cookie creations were auctioned at the event, raising almost $700 for the Illinois Interior Design Coalition (IIDC).
Winners were chosen in several categories: Pre-Build, Speed-Build, Dream On, Out-of-the-Box, and Size Matters.
Wight & Company topped the Pre-Build category with its LEED office gingerbread house, accompanied by a LEED score sheet, “certifying” the creation as platinum. (Pictured from l to r in photo below: Nicole Hellwig, Angela Schafer, Jeanie Kim. Also on the design team but not pictured was Jonathan Peck.) Contestants in this division opted to bring their designs ready-made.
In the Speed-Build category, which took place on-site, contestants had two hours to think on their feet and assemble an innovative structure. Even with the clock ticking, Torchia Associates completed a replica of a Monopoly board, complete with a house and hotel to win top honors.
The judges also awarded other crowd-pleasing designs. The Dream On prize went to VOA’s vision of the Asian pagoda and garden. (Pictured below with their creation are Manjula Rao and Julie Zeng. Also on the design team, but not pictured were Shawn Ursell, Nick Fawell and Amanda Eggleston.)
Meanwhile Ross Barney Architects’ satirical interpretation of Sarah Palin’s quote, “I can see Russia from my house,” topped the Out-of-the-Box category.
The grandeur of the Chicago Federal Center replica designed by Wright Heerema Architects earned top honors in its very own category, Size Matters.
The panel of judges for the event included Cheryl Durst, executive vice president of IIDA; Lisa Skolnik, a contributing editor to Metropolitan Home and Chicago Tribune journalist; and Jeff Krol, project manager at CB Richard Ellis. The auction proceeds benefit IIDC’s mission to protect the integrity of the Interior Design Title Act and its assurance that only those professionals registered by the state are identified as “interior designer” or “residential interior designer.”