Performance Driven, Poetically Crafted Architecture

SNHA Supports the Greater Chicago Food Depository with Canstruction Chicago

October 18, 2019

SNHA participated in Canstruction Chicago 2019, this year earning the Structural Ingenuity Award for the design and build of CANtenary. Each of the 7,000 cans used to build the nearly 9-foot-tall structure will go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and its network of 700 soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and various programs throughout Cook County.

About the Design

CANtenary is an elegant, flowing sculpture that pushes the boundaries of constructability in the medium of canned foods. Derived from bridging upright and inverted parabolic arches, its form inherits multiple catenary-like curves. This is an echo of its namesake and the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s mission to help bridge the gap between food and hunger. The sculpture’s double thin-shell structural system, consisting of an upper shell precariously nestled into a lower one, embraces the optimal force transfer properties of catenary curves to develop a compound arched form. The sandwiched shell structure peels away from itself at the peaks and valleys, creating a delamination effect that acts as both structural reinforcement and a visually contrasting aesthetic element, reinforcing and accenting the dynamic quality of the overall composition.

By the Numbers

Cans: 7,000

Wood Stacking Layers: 60

Build Time: 8.5 hours

Thanks to our sponsors for helping bring CANtenary to life:

ArchiTech • Assurance • Buckley Redner • Carnow & Associates • Clune

Cushing • FGMK • Intectural • JT Magen & Company Inc. • Lo Destro Construction Company 

Northwestern Mutual • Paradigm • Parametrix • PG enlighten • PSI