"Modern" Gingerbread House

At a Christmas party earlier today, J and I had visions of creating a 20th century gingerbread house that would look something like this:

Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye, Possy-sur-Seine, France, 1929
(image via Wikipedia (ValueYou), under the GNU Free Documentation License, v. 1.3)

Or this:

Frank Lloyd Wright, Kaufmann House (Fallingwater), Bear Run, Pennsylvania, 1936-39

Needless to say, our final product was not nearly as fancy:

Let’s just hope that our gingerbread house is as architecturally sound as the Le Corbusier and Wright buildings. Or even more architecturally sound, I should say: Frank Lloyd Wright’s building was in danger of collapse at one point. The terraces of Fallingwater began to droop over time and were considered unstable. In addition, “long-term stress on the main level’s beams resulted in cracks in the beams, causing the floors to sag.”1 The building was restored in 2002, as part of an $11.5 million restoration project.

You know, maybe it’s a little encouraging to know that even Frank Lloyd Wright wasn’t a perfect architect. Then maybe I won’t be disappointed if my house has collapsed by tomorrow morning!

(If anyone ends up building another gingerbread house that was inspired by a great architectural work, let me know! I’d love to see a picture. I dare someone to try and build a gingerbread house that based off of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao Museo.)

1 Fred S. Kleiner and Christin J. Mamiya, Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, 12th ed., vol. 2 (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2005), 1017.

  • LeGrand says:

    Challenge accepted.

  • AdmGln says:

    Great post! Love the gingerbread house. I think I'll try something easy, like the Experience Music Project building.

  • alli says:

    Have you seen the latest Acura comercial about illogical holiday spending? Well one of the segments is about "a 1960s Post Modern gingerbread house" and I totally thought that was the BEST idea EVER!!! Then this same night, you post this- I am in a blissful state of creativity 🙂
    Merry PoMo Christmas and a PoPoMo New Year

  • H Niyazi says:

    Fun post M!

    I see two distinct advantages in your design compared to the two architectural giants mentioned – your design in much cheaper to implement – and infinitely more delicious!!


  • Benjamin (Ben) says:

    Hilarious. Conceptually, I'm having a little difficulty reconciling "gingerbread" and modernist style. Much cognitive dissonance. Now Victorian style and gingerbread–that's another story!

  • heidenkind says:

    FLW WAS the perfect architect. It was the engineering part he sucked at.

    I agree with Ben–there's too much cognitive dissonance with gingerbread and "modern." But I think these crackers would be perfect for a modern design!

  • e says:

    I love it! I think that's one of the coolest gingerbread houses I've seen!

    You could seriously submit it to unhappyhipsters.com!

  • My Realitty says:

    I love it! May I post it on my mini blog? http://Leftcoastmini.blogspot.com/ CM

  • M says:

    Thanks for the comments! LeGrand, I expect to see a photo when you complete your Bilbao gingerbread house. Or have your students make the house for you – it could be a final project or something. 🙂

    And AdmGln, the EMP is another great one to tackle! Ha! That museum was designed by Frank Gehry, the same architect who designed the Bilbao Guggenheim (the one I challenged people to build!). (For those you are interested, you can see a photo of the Experience Music Project museum here.

    Alli, I hadn't seen that clip before, but I thought it was hilarious. I found it here on YouTube, if anyone is interested.

    H Niyazi: You're right that my little house is much more delicious than the others. It's a good thing I took a photo of the house last night. My husband and I have been snitching candy off of the roof and garden all day today…

    Ben: I laughed when I read your comment. You're right about the cognitive dissonance. Perhaps my "construction materials" are a little more modern than other houses, since I'm using cheap graham crackers instead of true gingerbread? 🙂

    heidenkind: Those crackers look delicious! I'll have to use those next time. They do look better for a modern gingerbread house design. Ha ha!

    e: Ha! I should submit it. That would be funny.

    MyRealitty: Sure! You're welcome to post it on your blog. (Could you still include a link to my post, if you do?)

  • Douglas says:

    Why just gingerbread houses? Why not a gingerbread Seagram Building?

  • Katie says:

    The “Fallingwater” of the Kaufmann’s I guess is the inspiration of the modern architecture today. But as I see it no one has ever beaten Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural design. I have never seen such blissful house like the famous “Fallingwater”.

    My brother is very much interested with the house and now he is renovating our homes in broken arrow into modern design. He loves edgy plane because it makes him feel balanced all the time. He is investing more in real estate and now up for the hunt for a house for sale in Tulsa.

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This blog focuses on making Western art history accessible and interesting to all types of audiences: art historians, students, and anyone else who is curious about art. Alberti’s Window is maintained by Monica Bowen, an art historian and professor.