Master of Integrated and Design students work with The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center chefs to build gingerbread houses. (Contributed by Paul Holley)
Paul Holley and MIDC student Lee Eckert build a house in 2011. (Contributed by Paul Holley)
The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center will hold the 2014 Auburn Gingerbread Village on Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to gather in the conference center where they can enjoy hot cocoa, cider, cookies and carols, while seeing Auburn recreated in gingerbread.
The gingerbread village began in 2009 when the hotel had its first village on display.
Paul Holley, professor in the McWhorter School of Building Science, said he remembers the project in its beginning.
The first gingerbread houses included Samford Hall, the Auburn train depot, the Auburn University Chapel and Jordan-Hare Stadium, Holley said, though he is not sure who built these first models.
Hans Van der Reijden has been the managing director of hotel operations and educational initiatives at the Hotel at Auburn for 11 years. In 2011, he approached Holley with the possibility of expanding the Gingerbread Village.
“We discussed adding several buildings to the model, and, later, I wanted to add the Cary-Pick House, which had just been donated to the University,” Van der Reijden said.
As an academic project, Holley had a group of graduate students from the master of integrated design and construction program in the School of Building Science use laser technology to develop virtual models. This helped develop cut data to build birch plywood models to design Hargis Hall, Langdon Hall, Cater Hall and the Hotel itself.
Christian Dagg, associate professor and chair of the integrated design and construction department, has built similar models over the years, though he is not personally involved with the project.
“It really consists of students reconstructing these buildings from plywood and then setting the gingerbread over the models,” Dagg said.
Since 2013, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and the President’s home were added to the village, while the models used for Langdon Hall and the chapel have been rebuilt.
“This fall, Dr. Gogue requested a replica of his home that will go into their house for the holidays,” Holley said. “My son and I worked on that model.”
Each year graduate students come together to recreate Auburn. Currently there is no one working on the project, but the 2014 Gingerbread Village is still expected to be on display at the Hotel.
For more information guests should contact the Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center at 334-821-8200.
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