Delight — Architecture Competition by

Rethinking Competition for a Museum of chocolate— ‘Delight’ Design Challenge by UNI

Fig: 1 — Olmecs of southern Mexico (Credits — Justin Kerr)

Cocoa delight

The history of chocolate can be traced to the ancient Mayans and even earlier to the ancient Olmecs of southern Mexico.

The word chocolate may conjure up images of sweet candy bars and luscious truffles, but the chocolate of today is little like the chocolate of the past. Throughout much of history, chocolate was a revered but bitter beverage, not a sweet, edible treat. They are made from the fruit of cacao trees, which are native to Central and South America. It’s unclear who invented the use of it, but traces of cocoa were found in the teacups of the ancient Olmecs, it’s thought that they used chocolate as their ceremonial drinks. Moreover, the Aztecs took their obsession to another level with using cocoa beans as currency.

Chocolate was experimented upon for a long time, Hot chocolate and other powdered forms were the results of these experiments. Only in the 19th century, chocolate bars were realized and Nestle became the first company to sell milk chocolate bars in mass production.

Fig: 2 — Artisans Chocolate (Credits- Jessica Loaiza)

The story of chocolate

People have been consuming chocolate for centuries and it has become part of our daily lives. Due to its mass production and multiple companies selling their formulas, it has become universal. It not only remained a treat but also became a significant symbol of love, celebration, emotions, and community.

Although modern-day chocolate production comes at a cost. With the ever-increasing demand for chocolate, many cocoa farmers struggle to make ends meet and to stay competitive. This has prompted grassroots efforts from large chocolate companies to reconsider how they get their cocoa supply. It’s also resulted in appeals for more fair-trade chocolate which is created ethically and sustainably. There is a need to show this transparency in what one produces to make people aware of what they eat, and who makes it.

Can we create a place that addresses these parameters? A place that will celebrate, educate and display this universal dessert.

Fig: 3 — The Chocolate Museum Zagreb

Chocolate Museum

Before the mass production of chocolate, they were hand-made by chocolatiers. Chocolatiers, both, made chocolate and sold it at the same location. Such smaller confectionary stores either further expanded into selling more than just chocolates or grew into factories. Now, people mostly prefer mass-produced chocolates, as they are accessible and cheaper. Although some chocolatiers still make their creations by hand and operate as small businesses.

Can we give a common platform for these chocolatiers to promote the original art of making chocolate? By doing so, how will we integrate the functions of making, displaying, and celebrating in one place?

Brief: The challenge is to design a museum for chocolate.

This Museum of chocolate aims to transform the celebration and dreams into spaces that provoke imagination and creativity.

The challenge is to design for a culturally inclusive environment that inspires human connection through chocolate and spaces for it. Design a museum that tells the history and making of chocolate and also which caters to the appetites of the visitors.

Design Objectives

  • Interiors: Furniture, color palette, flooring, finishes, and lighting.
  • Imaginative: Apart from the primary functions of a museum and those mentioned in the brief, what other spaces will be there in your Museum of chocolate?
  • Planning: Micro-planning of spaces to accommodate services and functional activities.
  • Celebrate design in a way that celebrates the universal quality of chocolate.

The following objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design. Participants are free to experiment with typology.


Fig: 4 — Site image
  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • Area: 901 sq.m
  • Height restriction: 12 meters
  • Maximum Built-Up Area: 450 sq.m
  • Ground coverage: 20%
  • Coordinates: 48°11'07.6"N 16°25'53.0"E

Just like nearby chocolate-adoring Belgium, Austria is a nation known for its undying love of all things sugary. In Vienna, the art of chocolate-making is taken seriously and you can find many handmade delights available throughout the city. The site is located in Leopoldstadt and is surrounded by a supermarket, cafés, and eateries.

Find all the competition brief, terms, and other registration guidelines on this

page: Delight | Cultural Architecture Competition on UNI | About

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