We were so excited to participate in last year’s The Gingerbread City competition at the Museum of Architecture in London. Every festive season, teams of architects, engineers, and designers come together to construct gingerbread masterpieces - from towering buildings to intricate bridges and sculptures.
We love to create unique designs that make people smile, and we couldn’t help but bring that same energy as we crafted our entry, the Pick n Mix Park! Jelly tots, marshmallow cable, and donuts were just some of the ingredients we used to create a fanciful sugary playground that embodies fun and adventure.
Our goal with the Pick n Mix Park was to reimagine what a park can be while adding our signature approach that channels playful energy. House of Kin is play-led by nature, and our choice of the continental climate zone and its weather extremes allowed us to infuse our design with unexpected elements that challenge convention. We were very proud of our entry, and were delighted to finish third-place in our climate zone (please, hold your applause).
The Pick N Mix is no ordinary park. This confectionary wonderland was created to demonstrate a future-focused sustainable community park where play and ingenuity meet. Much like the spaces we design, we wanted the park to break any traditional boundaries, and not be limited by its function.
Classic sweet treats were used to create a park landscape that offered areas of play that were infused with sustainable elements. Gummy bear visitors could wander through pollinators, use their navigation skills through an ice maze, or ride on the wind-powered carousel. Of course, that ice maze was really made of glacier mints, and the carousel was manned by pink shrimp candy.
Our core value of being reliably resourceful impacts each of our designs (no matter how small or sweet), and so we imagined the carousel to be wind-powered, which would give excess energy back to the grid. The boating lake provides a natural escape from a busy city while doubling as a source of hydropower.
We believe that playful elements should be interwoven into all design, and that there is fun to be found around every turn. There was no better opportunity to create a design without boundaries, where a cliff face of donuts and a 5-story gingerbread skywalk path could both be a reality!
We thoroughly enjoyed enhancing the experience of each gummy bear visitor by creating playful, interactive, and engaging experiences at every turn. Whether they were cruising down the donut slide on fruit polo rings, taking in a Sugarbabes concert, or sailing the hydropower-generating saltwater lake, they were living their best gummy bear life.
We’ve never met a unique project we didn’t like, and The Gingerbread City competition was no exception. It awakened a different part of our creativity that will be brought forward as we continue to design family-led projects that children want to play in, and adults love to be in.