SWEET TREATS THIS FESTIVE SEASON
The University of Hong Kong's Gingerbread Main Building Production
Every year, the University of Hong Kong's multimedia channel, U-Vision, celebrates the winter festive season by producing a short video to spread holiday cheer. This season, the team was especially hungry so they tried to work with edible treats and ended up building the University of Hong Kong's most iconic building, "Main Building" out of gingerbread, icing and candies! It took over a week to construct and lots of work from some amazingly talented individuals from different departments.
This is our first gingerbread themed Season's Greetings video, titled "Sweet Treats".
Watch our second gingerbread themed video here and join in the dance!
The Main Building is the oldest structure on the University of Hong Kong (HKU)'s Main Campus. This Edwardian Baroque-style building was designed by Alfred Bryer of Leigh & Orange. Construction began in 1910 and was completed in 1912. The gingerbread model of the building is similar to how it looked like prior to the 1950s, before the addition of two new courtyards and a further floor at the rear. In 1984, the Main Building was declared a monument by the Hong Kong Government.
The Gingerbread Main Building's first exhibition was at the lobby of Knowles Building.
Now, it is on permanent display in the Common Core Lounge, which is open every weekday from 9am – 5:30pm. Please feel free to take photos with it and share your photos with us via Instagram @HKUGingerbread
Behind the Scenes
The Multimedia Team of the Communications and Public Affairs Office (CPAO), HKU, operate the university-wide multimedia channel, U-Vision. The team consists of four members only, each with different daily operation duties in channel management during the day. Over the short course of a few weeks and many late nights in building, decorating, filming, and editing, they were able to overcome many hardships in constructing the gingerbread Main Building and producing the seasonal video on schedule. Luckily, they were also able to enlist the help of a talented colleague from CPAO's Media Relations team to be their Pâtissier for baking the gingerbread after hours. Three research assistants from the Division of Landscape Architecture also moonlighted to assist with the design of the Gingerbread Main Building and created very intricate stencils for the gingerbread pieces to be shaped in. It took more than 16 hours for the Multimedia Team and their Pâtissier to bake all of the gingerbread pieces according to the designed shapes. The assembly took a little over than a week. Members of the CPAO Events Team, Communications Services Team, Publications Team, Common Core, Department of Architecture, Department of Chemistry, and Digital Literacy Lab lent a kind hand material support with icing and decorations too.
Making of the Season's Greetings Video
Making of the Gingerbread Building
Recognise these actors?
These little human figurines made cameo appearances in a U-Vision seasonal video a few years ago. They were amazingly perfect in scale to be re-used for this year's gingerbread set, where they will become a permanent fixture in the gingerbread building set that is on exhibit on G/F of Knowles Building, HKU.
Candy canes couldn't be found prior to December in Hong Kong, but a generous colleague got her family to deliver some from the United States.
We invited different people to help with piping the windows. It provided the perfect therapeutic relief for the end of year and exam season!
Actual palm trees like the trees in front of the real Main Building were impossible to make in a short time and Christmas trees seemed more appropriate. We experimented with many different types of ways to pipe the trees before we reached our final products.
The white pebbles in the snow were made with white M&Ms. They were a souvenir from a colleague who recently when to New York. The back of each pebble says "I heart NY" and the front "M&M" logos were sanded off one-by-one.
Concocting such an intricate heritage building out of gingerbread and sweets required many experiments over long hours of work.
The team kept to the university's vision and thought up a lot of different imagery that could represent the university's strategic 3I's + I (Interdisciplinarity + Innovation + Internationalisation = Impact) keywords.
Directors of Photography
Production Set Designers
Gingerbread Design Architects
Communications and Public Affairs Office, HKU
Lead Icing Artist
Assistant Icing Artists
Matthew LEUNG / Digital Literacy Lab
Special thanks to
HKU Department of Chemistry