CHICAGO - 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 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. Wight & Co. topped the pre-build category with its LEED office gingerbread house, accompanied by a LEED score sheet, "certifying" the creation as platinum. 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, while 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 illustrious panel who judged the tasty constructions 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."
About Allsteel Inc.
Allsteel Inc. designs, builds and delivers progressive and relevant workplace furniture solutions. The company has Resource Centers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Washington, D.C., and Toronto, ON. For more information, visit www.allsteeloffice.com.