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Architects Employ A Can-Do Attitude For A Cause

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Team GPI works on their can structure at the National Building Museum on Saturday, Sept. 1.
Markette Smith
Team GPI works on their can structure at the National Building Museum on Saturday, Sept. 1.

Through next week, the National Building Museum is home to some unusual structures -- all made out of canned food and all for a good cause. 

Each year since 1998, architects from across the region compete in the annual CANstruction competition to see who can build the most awe-inspiring design with nothing more than canned foods as the building blogs. This year, designer April Diaz and her team built a spaceship out of 3,500 cans.

"We used coffee cans, black coffee cans as the rocket boosters," says Diaz.

Darrel Rippeteau leads the competition, which has 22 firms participating at the Building Museum this year.

"Here's a dome on a Russian Orthodox Cathedral going up, and there's the Washington Monument in Alexandria over there," Rippeaeu says. "And here's the Hoover Dam; it's remarkable." 

There are enough cans used to create about 75,000 meals. The structures will be on display for a week, after which the food will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank.

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