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November 11, 2017
by Camila Schaulsohn
BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group's pumpkin tower lantern. Credit: Daniel Cole.
SITU Studio's weightless pumpkin. Credit: Daniel Cole.
Sage and Coombe's Brainstorm. Credit: Daniel Cole.
MVVA's bubbling cider brook. Credit: Daniel Cole.
ARO's pumpkin tower. Credit: Daniel Cole.
LOT-EK's Pritzkerpumpkin-winning design. Credit: Daniel Cole.

The Center for Architecture hosted its second-annual Pumpkitecture! competition, kicking off Halloween weekend in NYC. 18 New York City-based firms (and one staff team) went gourd-to-gourd to compete for the Pritzkerpumpkin.

Awakening the spooky specters of architects past, the participating firms conjured their creative spirits to awaken their eerie eye for design. Beyond the standard pumpkin-carving tool set, supplied by the Center, firms were encouraged to bring their own tools and materials, resulting in a range of additional supplies, from electric drills to hammers to immersion blenders and blue foam.

After an hour and 15 minutes of carving, our dreaded jury, Mariam Aldhahi, Managing Editor, Curbed; Stephan Jaklitsch, AIA, Partner, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects (“Malignant Mimic” Award, Pumpkitecture 2016); Rishma Lucknauth, GrowNYC; and Liz Waytkus, Executive Director, Docomomo US, selected the winner of the precious Pritzkerpumpkin and recognized additional firms with a number of honorable mentions. Our profane public also cast their ballots to nominate the People’s Pumpkin. A selection of (easily transportable) pumpkins was later displayed at Pumpkitecture’s pumpkin purveyors Oak Grove Plantation’s stand at the Union Square Greenmarket.

Awards
Pritzker Pumpkin – LOT-EK (GHOST-EK), for their black pumpkin with nail grid
People’s Pumpkin – ROGERS PARTNERS took the award for the second year in a row for their pumpkin virtual reality viewer

Honorary Mentions
Lucifer’s Lantern (Best use of lighting) – BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group for their stacked pumpkin tower
Malignant Mimic (Best interpretation of iconic architecture) – IA Interior Architectsfor their gourdly Ronchamp 
Mad Engineer (Most structurally insane) – SO-IL for engineering the thinnest possible pumpkin
Classic Creature (Best interpretation of a classic Halloween pumpkin) – Sage and Coombe for their pumpkin brain of an architect
Less is More – WEISS/MANFREDI for keeping it simple with their curved pumpkin wedge tower
Most Politically Poignant Pumpkin (for using the medium to make a statement) – Bernheimer Architecture for turning their pumpkin into bricks used to build a useless orange wall
Most Self-Referential – OMA New York for their pumpkin study models in blue foam
Best Pumpkin Landscape – SCAPE Landscape Architecture for Copacapumpkin, a sandy pumpkin resort.
Best Archispeak – Center for Architecture for an expertly-worded pumpkin defense.

Other teams who showed off their pumpkin carving skills included:
ARO (Pumpkin Research Office)
Hollwich Kushner (Hellwitch Spookner)
ODA
Studio Libeskind (Architectorture)
Tod Williams Billie Tsien
West 8

We congratulate our winners and thank all participating firms for a wonderful evening.

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