Visondivsion was commissioned to “pimp” two gingerbread houses for the annual Gingerbread competition held at Arkitekturmuseet (the architecture museum) in Stockholm. We did one theoretical project deriving from the very first gingerbread house ever; the witch house in Hansel and Gretel, which we modified to make it more suitable for the witch and perhaps make her a better person. The second one is a visual and tasty extravaganza where the house can be shot away by a firework among other things.
See the movie below and check out the projects underneath. The gingerbread houses can also be seen live at the architecture museum until the end of 2009.
Gingerbread house number I – Witch house
The first person to build a gingerbread house was the witch in the Grim brother tale “Hansel and Gretel”. The house was made with a façade of gingerbread and sweets to attract children that she could later feed, cook and then eat. But the witch had a quite poor vision and got tricked by the children and got kicked into the stove and later died. The house was not optimal for her and that was something that we tried to solve with our skills as architects. The outdoor parts of the house needs few changes, the concept to attract other creatures with candy is genius, but of course you cannot eat children and apart from the moral issues, children seldom get lost in the forest so the meals will come very irregular and rarely. We propose that instead of catching children, she could catch birds with her genius facade. The amount of birds should probably be more than lost children and with some extra additions they should also be a more easy catch. We provide the witch’s house with an extra layer of sticky sugar so the birds will get stuck when they land on the roof to eat. Thereafter we slices away a great part of the roof and constructs a second floor from where the witch can reach the birds. The upper floor is made entirely out of glass which acts as a light shaft so the witch gets more light into the house to alleviate the poor vision of the witch. The house also gets an elevator so the witch won’t fall in the stairs. The stove gets replaced by a more modern and smaller unit which is harder to cook children in by mistake and also harder to get pushed in to. Some railings are set up in the forest so the witch more easily can move around in her surroundings and warning signs are set up for lost children.
Gingerbread house number II - All in
The modern gingerbread house is a small replica of the witch house but excludes the morbid aspects of cannibalism and focus instead on the visual. The gingerbread house is primarily a Christmas decoration and divides the people in two sides; some likes to eat it whereas other throws it away. The best parts of the gingerbread house are perhaps not the gingerbread itself but all the candy decoration surrounding it. We did a surrounding landscape out of marzipan with candy filling. After the marzipan comes an arsenal of colorful and happy details that covers the base of the gingerbread house; disco balls, glitter, gold decoration, electric guitar, a huge variety of candy that also fills the house. Through all this mayhem of delights goes a hollow core which acts as a firework launch tube. When the owners feels that it is time to get rid of the house, it is time to light the rocket that takes the gingerbread house on a ride through the air and explodes with sensational colors and a long sought after candy rain. The house becomes the epitome of gingerbread house design; A visual spectacle that at the same time are delicious to eat.