can the can house



Some years ago architect Richard Van Os Keuls of Silver Spring, Maryland started using discarded aluminium drink cans as siding for a house extension. (I also know a guy who had planned on using old vinyl LP records as roof shingles.) Richard washes his cans so ants want find the normally sweet and sticky innards too attractive. Then he stomps them flat, before pounding them with a sledgehammer to round the corners. Aluminium nails secure them in a shingle-like formation, to a plywood/insulation board wall, that is now resplendent with a fishscale look. He expects their various colours to fade over time, but doesn’t plan on painting over the surface, because he now likes the way light plays on their many surfaces. Additionally he notes that they aren’t noisy during rain, and have yet to develop the common chalky oxidation, which aluminium exposed to the elements can develop. Perversely when he first set out to collect extra cans from his local neighbourhood dump, this enterprising architect was apparently cited and fined for theft of city property and for transporting stolen property!

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Toon Verberg