December 10, 2012 AdminHBA Design, Events

Gingerbread Alley

HBA Architecture & Interior Design was invited to participate in the First Annual Gingerbread Alley at the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth. There are two categories for entries: students/schools/youth groups and adults/businesses. Visitors will select a People’s Choice Award in each category and an award will be donated to the 501 c 3 charity of the entrant’s choice.

The process for HBA staff started with a design competition. The theme was open, and the structures had to be constructed of all edible materials except for the base. No artificial materials or interior lighting were allowed.

Staff members submitted designs for review by their peers and a unanimous choice was made. The winning design was presented in the form of a model while others were by sketch or photograph. The model gave the true sense of the scale of the house that was to be built. The display case chosen by HBA was the largest offered by the museum. The case was 36” wide by 24” deep by 38” high. The chosen design took advantage of the volume with a very large version of “The Fairytale Cottage”. The design also pushed the limit of the bakery sheet to the point that the widest elevation had to be cut in half to fit on the bakery sheet and be glued together with Royal Icing.

The large sheets of gingerbread were held in place by brick samples.

HBA employees hard at work mixing icing.

The construction team spent 72 man hours plus building the structure from making cardboard templates for the gingerbread to molds for the melted butterscotch windows. There were a lot of ups and downs during the process but it all came together in the end.

The gingerbread house in process.

Construction materials included are:

  • Gingerbread walls, roof and trees
  • Fondant trim
  • Butterscotch glass
  • Vanilla wafer shingles
  • Sugar wafer chimney and steps
  • Candy holly leaf wreath and greenery
  • Royal icing stucco
  • Mike and Ike porch light
  • Chocolate covered almond lights
  • Edible paper door hinges and handle
  • Confectionary sugar and coconut snow

Door and roof details.

The design included many intricate details.

The final product!

The entries are on display through December 31st so visit the Gingerbread Alley at 221 High Street in Portsmouth, Virginia and cast your vote for “The Fairytale Cottage”.

  Bobby Sharon