Starting last night at the Lower Manhattan’s Brookfield Place World Financial Center, 24 teams of architects, engineers, and MTA employees stacked cans into the small hours of the morning for the 20th Annual NYC CANstruction Competition. Large amorphous structures—some abstract, others more recognizable—emerged out of more than 80,000 cans of food.
The firms were given 24-hours to build their sculptures, which will then go on display for 11 days at the World Financial Center, and later dismantled and donated to City Harvest to provide food for the hungry. Last year, the competition yielded 90,000 cans of food, and Lisa Sposato, Associate Director of Food Sourcing Donor Relations at City Harvest, said they’ve already received 35,000 pounds of cans. Unfortunately Hurricane Sandy delayed the competition, and a few teams had to drop out, but several of them donated their cans of food.
For several firms, this event has become a tradition. This is Severud Associates’ 19th year in the competition—and by 10 pm, they were almost finished with their sculpture of chess pieces called Can you Check Mate Hunger?
WSP Flack + Kurtz and Gensler were more than half-way through their Can’s Best Friend, a balloon-dog-inspired piece that resembled Jeff Koons’ iconic sculpture. Patrick Rothwell, an associate at Gensler and a returning competitor, estimated a 1:00 am finish time.
“We’re trying to make something unique that also benefits people who are hungry,” said Rothwell.
There were a few more abstract concepts, such as STUDIOS architecture’s VeCAN HAM-mer Hunger! a sculpture of a hammer breaking a piggybank or DeSimone Consulting Enginners’ CANdroid based on Google’s Android logo.
A few steps away, the MTA team assembled an elaborate 2nd Avenue train creation entitled, CAN YOU DIG IT?
The sculptures will be judged by a panel including: Carla Hall of Alchemy and Chef/Co-host of The Chew; John DeSilvia, Host of DIY Network’s Rescue my Renovation; and Frances Halsband, Founding Partner of Kliment Halsband Architects.