The sixth annual Gingerbread Build-Off, co-sponsored by Architecture Center Houston and AIA Houston, drew a cheery crowd of more than 3,000 spectators to City Hall's Hermann Square for the heated competition.
Architecture firms, design professionals, students and gingerbread house enthusiasts joined in the build-off which required that each house be made completely of edible materials.
Architectural licenses notwithstanding, it was a group of neurologists who took the Grand Prix de Show for "The Grand Budapest Hotel" creation. They called their team The Neurons.
Judging the holiday eye candy were City Councilman David Robinson, Triniti executive chef Ryan Hildebrand, Margaret Wallace Brown of the city Planning and Development department and Charlene Anthony of Associated General Contractors of Houston.
But the public got to choose their favorite which was "Princess and the Pea," created by A&E — The Graphics Complex along with Ginger and the Snaps.
This "Pirate Ship" by ACI (The Arrrrrchitects) so inspired the judges that they awarded it first runner-up honors.
Curry Boudreaux Architects won Most Creative Interpretation of Materials for the "Bento Box," a gingerbread riff on a traditional Japanese meal.
We love the intricacy of the "723 Mafia Gingerbread Village" that won the High School Challenge. Students from Foster High School, calling themselves the Foster HS Mafia team, were the winners.
Jackson & Ryan Architects took honors as the Best Non-Traditionally Themed entry for their Airstream-inspired "National Park."
Houston's City Hall never looked so delicious as it does in this creation by English & Associates. It won Best Architectural Icon.
The judges felt that this "Project Row Houses" creation deserved second runner-up status. And that made the Rice University students, Team Ricing on the Cake, proud gingerbread artists.