A melting of the minds

Gelatobaby meets Coolhaus from Alissa Walker on Vimeo.

The kinds of stories that people tend to pass along to me fall into three basic categories. If you were to judge me simply by what links my friends fed me in the last few days, you’d have the following: Photos of the just-opened High Line park, a wordplay game called Tom Swifties, a guide to New York gelaterias, and the Ben & Jerry’s ads supporting same-sex marriage.

Your assumptions are correct: I love things that look cool, sound cool, taste cool, and are illegal in some states.

On a scorching May afternoon when I was not only reading about cool things but also trying to keep cool by working in the coolest room in the house, with my face pressed to the cool hardwood floor, I received a link from my friend Sarah Rich, an editor at Dwell: Architecturally-significant ice cream sandwiches with flavors named things like Frank Behry and Neutrapolitan. I leapt from my sweaty pool on the floor and rejoiced! It was a trifecta.

Not only did the ladies who owned this hot pink-and-silver truck slapped with magnetic headshots of architects love ice cream and design as much as I, they had paired it beautifully with wordplay. If we we didn’t end up being best friends, we certainly would make great nemeses.

But things went smoothly from there, as ice cream-related friendships often do. And a few weeks ago, atop the funny lump of a hill that holds the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House, as the sun barely set over a gloomy Los Angeles, as intrepid drinkers clinked rosés plucked by Silverlake Wine, Gelatobaby met Coolhaus. All archi-puns aside, Natasha Case and Freya Estreller have the foundations down for a good sandwich: built-to-order, on soft cookies, with the option of an edible rice paper wrapper. It was love at first Mintimalism bite. I also somehow walked away from this meeting with a free six-pack of toilet paper. Which was good, because we were running out.

But this frozen fairy tale does not end there, my friends. Thanks to my fellow friend-of-cold Sarah Rich, and the folks at Dwell, this encounter quiescently ripened into a full-fledged quest to discover the next master of architecture, ice cream and wit. If you, like me, felt the puns welling up from deep within your inner vat of design knowledge, then you, too, can churn out Coolhaus’ next architecturally-significant flavor over at Dwell’s Sweetest Contest Ever.

For the contest winner, there are just desserts. Coolhaus will be serving the best-named sandwich at Dwell on Design‘s A Night at the Movies on June 27, the same night you’ll get to see a film by Eric Bricker—who I interviewed for Dwell, and who actually went to my same high school, go Longhorns!—about the most important architectural photographer on the planet, Julius Shulman. Of course, I’m not eligible to win, but I’d like to hope that someone out there has already submitted the most appropriate one: Orange Julius Shulman. Orange sherbet between two fluffy vanilla cookies, served on a contact sheet.

Until then, I encourage you to spread the word about the wonders of Coolhaus as well as this rather delicious parlour game. If you need any licks of inspiration, they’re only a Tweet away.

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