The 2nd Annual ACI/PPDS Gingerbread Showcase and Competition was a real winner this year! The teams had only one week to plan and 2 hours to construct their masterpieces. Guest judges were brought in and scored the entries based on originality, creativity, construction, and overall design. A huge thank you to Mac McElwrath with Oden Hughes and Milena Pisani & Corinne Van Vilet with Texas Engineering Solutions for taking time out of their busy schedules to be our guest judges. After the competition, the houses were donated to Brookdale Senior Living so tenants of the independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing wings could enjoy each of the creative interpretations of a gingerbread house. Take a look at this year’s competition!
1st Place Winners
TEAM “FALLING WATER”
Janna, Kendall, & Evan
Forgive the play on words, but gingerbread men these days all live-in cookie-cutter houses; they all have the same candy cane fences, gum drop shingles, and white frosted trimming. Our team’s goal was to create the unexpected. Leave it to three Interior Designers to take this year’s gingerbread competition to another level! We loved the idea of creating a modern, sophisticated gingerbread house with clean lines. Our inspiration was to recreate Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous architectural accomplishment known as Fallingwater. For those not familiar with Fallingwater, it was built in the late 1930s in Western Pennsylvania, and it is famous for its cantilevered structures that peer, somewhat treacherously, over a waterfall. This home is a complicated plan that appears to float above the water, making it that much more challenging to recreate with only sugar to hold your building together! We deconstructed the gingerbread kit and started from scratch. A few of our key ingredients were Rice Krispy Treats, Graham Crackers, Sour Taaffe, Vanilla Wafers & to top it all off we used sugar water to construct large windows on each side of the house! Definitely not your cookie-cutter type house!
Happy Holidays from 2016’s 1st place team!
2nd Place Winners
Kevin, Paige, Kaylee, Alex, & Jess
The Parumpumpumpums became an established team in late November. With competition in mind, each individual member of the team channeled their creativity and brainstormed ideas to present to the group.
While many outstanding ideas were brought to the table, The Parumpumpumpums finally reached a decision – Gingerbread Austin City Limits. The goal of the design would be to capture the funk and soul of the local music festival, while embodying the essence of holiday spirit.
During the planning phase, the team decided to incorporate several essential items into the design scheme. These items included a gingerbread stage, a band with the name of The Lil Drumma Boyz on stage, flaming torches, speakers and other significant music equipment, and of course, a rowdy crowd.
Gingerbread, pretzels, candy canes, gummies, brownies, slim jims, bell peppers, marshmallows, chocolate, fruit rollups, graham crackers, frosting, and other miscellaneous items, were utilized to execute the vision. The Parumpumpumpums made it a goal that every aspect of the design be edible. While the team finished with second place, the ACL Gingerbread remains the pride and joy of The Parumpumpumpums.
TEAM “NAILED IT!”
Laura, Lindsey, Micah & Sam
With the concept of a tiny winter home in a candy cane forest, team Nailed It! was the only team to create a “Traditional” Gingerbread house. With a candy cane sled supporting the tiny home, the stage was set for a magical holiday getaway. Like a scene out of a snow globe, our goal was to tell a story and spark the imagination. Utilizing the entire board we covered the ground with snow (Coconut) and crushed candy canes, and crafted a giant Christmas tree (Ice cream cones) that would light up the night sky and get anyone in the holiday spirit. The candy cane forest was made out of ice cream cones and various sprinkles and provided a fun texture element to the setting. All items used were 100% edible, with ingredients like mini marshmallows, white chocolate melts, sprinkles, twizzlers, sour cherry candy and peppermints to name a few.
Stan, Luke, Julie, Katie, Megan
The Baconeers created a beautifully sensitive habitat for the Bacon Springs (Blind) Salamander.
The idea for our gingerbread ’house’ came about naturally. A good amount of our work comes from the uniquely sensitive City of Austin environment. In this area there are special water bodies that are habitat to some important endangered species, like the Barton Spring Salamander. At ACI we are often involved with the Barton Springs Salamander in one way or another so we knew it would be a creative alternate to the gingerbread house typically found in boring cookie cutter neighborhoods. We used traditional and non-traditional building materials to construct the fragile environment the little critters call home. During the planning process we asked ourselves how we could spice this up…. Stan quickly answered -Peppered Bacon!!
And that’s how the Bacon Springs Salamander was born.