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Sugary Building Designs Bring Cheer

Friday, December 12, 2014

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'Tis the season for architects across the U.S. to participate in sweet projects.

Buildings framed in gingerbread and specs that feature chocolate icing and candied cladding are on display from Seattle to Washington D.C. The mouth-watering creations raise thousands of dollars for charitable organizations.

gingerbread village
Sheraton Hotels

Hundreds of pounds of candy built the Gingerbread Village in Seattle.

Then there's the gargantuan New York confection with a place in the record books.

Gingerbread Village

In Seattle, an estimated 1,200 pounds of dough, 80 pounds of icing, 200 pounds of white chocolate, 250 pounds of almond paste and hundreds of pounds of candy were used to create six craving worthy creations in the annual Gingerbread Village.

Some of the area’s top architectural firms joined chefs from the Sheraton Hotel to create the houses.

Themed “Jingle All the Way,” this year’s installations take visitors on a musical journey of scenes from classic holiday songs, including “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “O Christmas Tree”, and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Gingerbread Village
Sheraton Hotels

Gingerbread Village raises money for the northwest chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

4D Architects, Bailly & Bailly, Callison, MBA/Gelotte Hommas, Mulvanny G2, and Skanska took part in this year’s project.

Gingerbread Village has been a tradition for 22 years and has raised more than $669,000 through donations to the northwest chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The village will remain open until Jan. 5.


Architecture firms, suppliers, contractors and building enthusiasts also participated this month in Gingertown construction projects in Washington, D.C., Dallas, TX, Nashville, TN, and Atlanta, GA.

David M. Schwarz Architects started the Gingertown initiative in D.C. in 2006 to raise money for charitable organizations. Each year, the confection-encased cities have grown. This year’s master plan was “Gingertown Junction.”

David M. Schwarz Architects

"Gingertown Junction" was the master theme for this year's Gingertown initiative. In Washington D.C., all funds raised went to The Children's National Medical Center, So Others Might Eat, and other organizations.

The town plans have the sense and rhythm of traditional planned cities with communal and civic centers, green spaces and a strong pedestrian culture, according to Schwarz.

Additional details and photos from each jobsite are posted here.

Largest in the Land

The gingerbread giant of them all, however, is in New York. There, a chef has drafted, designed, baked, planned, built and decorated the largest gingerbread village in the world.

Until Jan. 11, visitors can marvel at Gingerbread Lane, on display at the New York Hall of Science in Corona.

gingebread lane
New York Hall of Science

Gingerbread Lane includes edible houses, trees, a hotel, skating rink and even an underground subway station.

It took Manhattan chef Jon Lovitch all year to create the village, which is made entirely of edible ingredients: gingerbread, royal icing and candy. The installation has houses, trees, a hotel, skating rink, and even an underground subway station.

Gingerbread Lane is recognized as the largest gingerbread village in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records.


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Building materials; Color; Color + Design; Design; North America; philanthropy; Project photos; Trends; Urban Planning

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