The 5th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off: Who Knew Architecture Could Be So Sweet?

Categories: Edible Events

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Grand Prix de Show: The London Tower Bridge from Kirksey / Shade Heights
You know that you are dealing with professional architects when blustering winds fail to blow down skyscrapers constructed with cookies and spackled with frosting. Of course, I am referring to the 5th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off, which was hosted by Architecture Center Houston in conjunction with C2 Creative this past weekend.

For the second year in a row the Build-Off was held at City Hall's Hermann Square; it had outgrown the Caroline Collective, where it was originally staged. Only six teams participated in the inaugural event; this year, there were 32 crews.

While many of the teams participating were representing architecture firms, designers and builders from print shops and design studios were also on hand. In addition, a section of the perimeter was dedicated to teams made up of high school students.

A group of students from Cypress Creek High School, who erected a gingerbread version of the Williams Tower, told me that they were headed to UH's College of Architecture and were sharpening their skills on gingerbread cookies.

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Corey Tolbert and Quincy Allen from Cypress Creek High School take part in the Gingerbread Build-Off.

Members of the team from the Art Institute of Houston had just finished their finals the day before and still had sufficient brainpower to create Frank Lloyd Wright's "Falling Water;" they took home the 1st Runner-Up Prize.

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1st Runner Up: Art Institute of Houston's Falling Water

This year's designs ranged from kitschy to innovative, from traditional to political. The Astrodome showed up, repurposed as an indoor arena with a candy wrecking ball hiding eerily behind the dome. Other Houston motifs included an artistic commentary on the controversial Ashby High Rise. The gingerbread tower was covered in green frosting and made to look like the Grinch. The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park and tower seemed to be a popular subject, as three different teams took on the iconic park. Each one looked completely different.

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