"Canstruction:" Architects, construction engineers build structures out of cans to benefit the hungry

GLENDALE -- It is amazing the things you can create with canned goods -- especially when there's a group of architects and construction engineers on the job! A unique event was held at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale (and across the world!) on Sunday, October 30th to help the hungry.


"Canstruction" is an international charity competition which challenges architects, engineers and students they mentor to design and build giant structures made entirely of canned food.  Following a public exhibition of the artistic creations and a juried awards ceremony, the food will be donated to a local hunger relief organization, in this case, the Jewish Community Pantry.

Brent Arnold

The event was sponsored by the Jewish Community Center in partnership with Bayshore Town Center and its philanthropic arm Olshan Outreach.

"They all have to face the same way," Brent Arnold with Hunzinger Construction said.

Contractors don't generally build with canned goods.

"We usually use steel beams, brick, motor -- typically not cans," Arnold said.

On Sunday, each team of architects and design professionals constructed a structure made entirely of cans.


"The corn is the base and the chili beans are going to be the barrel," Arnold said.

Sunday marked the second annual "Canstruction" event in Milwaukee.

Mark Shapiro

"What better way to take your skills, have some fun and make a big difference in the community?" Mark Shapiro, president and CEO of the JCC said.

The theme this year was "Wisconsin Proud."

Hunzinger Construction was one of five teams participating. They built Bernie Brewer's chalet.


"The one from County Stadium. We`re going a little retro and, in theory, it`s all going to work -- but you don`t know until it`s all done," Arnold said.

The public will have one week to marvel at these creations. Winners will be announced on November 8th -- before the cans are donated to the Jewish Community Pantry.


"We`re probably close to 250 families every Thursday, and maybe 180 families on average the second and third Sunday of the month," Shapiro said.


Fifteen thousand canned goods will feed many hungry people right here in Milwaukee!

Here are the "Canstruction" winners:

Juror’s Favorite:

Bernie’s Chalet – by Hunzinger Construction Company

Best Meal:

Wisconsin Farm – by Eppstein Uhen Architects & GRAEF

Structural Integrity:

Wisconsin Proud (green triangular structure) – by Plunkett Raysich Architects

Honorable Mention:

Wisconsin Capitol – by Zimmerman Architectural Studios, Inc.

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