Chocolate Architecture: Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education

Shelburne Museum opened the doors of the highly anticipated Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education this past weekend. Over 6,000 Vermonters and visitors came from near and far to view the building and see the new space which will featured loaned works and touring exhibitions year-round.

A grand opening party is not complete without chocolate! Lake Champlain Chocolate’s own, Kirk Weed was asked to build a chocolate replica of the Center, and he pulled out all the stops to bring the intricate details of this matsterpiece to life!

Here’s a recap of the process from Kirk himself:

“I began by viewing the sketches of the original building concepts and then headed down to the building to take pictures. I focuesd on the various architectural details that make this building unique; angles, lines of site and textures. Next, I began thinking about how these characteristics could be represented though chocolate, as it’s not as strong as most building materials!

I poured the chocolate into frames to form the walls and cut the chocolate  to size as it was hardening. The frames were lined with acetate to achieve the glossy surface and various decorative techniques were used to represent the different surfaces.

After the walls were formed and hardened, I glued them in place by piping chocolate like caulking. The windows were formed by cooking sugar to a high temperature and pouring it out to form sheets. These sheets were then cut much like stained glass and bent using heat.

The two roofs were formed like the walls into frames that required extra care to build because they were so large. Chocolate naturally warps as it hardens so it required special attention during cooling to keep the roofs and walls flat.

The building sits on sloped ground so that it is two stories in the back and one story in the front. The finished sculpture was surrounded with a chocolate retaining wall which held chocolate covered hazelnuts that duplicated the effect of the ground which rises from the back to the front of the building.”

The attention to detail was incredible…bravo, Kirk! To view more pictures of the builidng process check out our Facebook album.