Sunday, December 16, 2012


The Gingerscraper

The first annual Eugene Gingerbread Competition & Auction is now in the books. The competition drew eighteen delightful entries, each one a whimsical concoction of color, candy, frosting, and of course gingerbread. The display enchanted yuletide shoppers at the Fifth Street Market this past Saturday, attracted the attention of Eugene’s television stations, and raised funds for Design|Spring. In a fun way, it also reminded visitors about how design and architecture contribute to making our community a sweet place to live.

Along with four of my coworkers at Robertson/Sherwood/Architects (RSA), I enjoyed my first-ever experience creating a gingerbread fantasy. Our submission to the competition was dubbed the "Gingerscraper." The design alludes to a wintry Rockerfeller Center in New York City, replete with a hallmark Art-Deco slab, open-air skating rink, and tall Christmas tree. The scene is populated by happy gingerbread people and gummy bears.

Jenni Rogers, Assoc. AIA and Mariko Blessing, AIA, LEED AP prepare the base to accept the Gingerscraper.

My contribution to the RSA project was modest at best, limited mostly to helping lay Andes Mints pavers on the building’s entry plaza, and fashioning cars from graham crackers, frosting, and Smarties (for wheels). The real heavy lifting was performed by Jenni Rogers, Assoc. AIA, Mariko Blessing, AIA, LEED AP, Scott Stolarczyk, AIA, LEED AP, and Becky Thomas, AIA.

Scott Stolarczyk, AIA, LEED AP and Becky Thomas, AIA assemble the tower.

Here are a few photos of Gingerbread Competition entries amid the Cafes at the Fifth Street Market. The first shows our Gingerscraper taking its place alongside colorful competitors:

Someone successfully bid for our Gingerscraper and is now the proud owner of our sugary architectural confection. We didn't win a prize from the jury, but our team had a great time assembling our submission.

Kudos to Rachel Auerbach and the other members of Design|Spring who conceived, organized, and executed the successful community event. Thanks to the many sponsors for their support, and also to the Fifth Street Market for hosting the display. I expect the Eugene Gingerbread Competition will truly become a mainstay of the holiday season for years to come.

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