Tin Can House Takes Recycling to a New, Crazy Level

tin can houseAluminum siding is a great thing. I never thought I’d want a house with anything other than wood, but I’ve loved the aluminum-sided houses I’ve lived in. They were easy to take care of, I didn’t have to paint every few years, there weren’t any mold problems. All hail aluminum siding!

Never in a million years did my love for aluminum spread to this level, however. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not “green” enough -- or crazy enough -- to cover my entire house in aluminum cans.

That’s exactly what Richard Van Os Keuls did. (And before you think his name is any indication of his crazitude, he’s just an architect living in Silver Spring, Maryland.)


tin can houseRVOK, as I like to call him, claims his inspiration came the moment he saw a truck flatten a soda can. He had been looking for inexpensive ways to side his house. (Seriously? He’s an architect. Who lives in one the wealthiest suburbs in the country.)

As if the mere notion weren’t insane enough, his process for putting up the shingles certainly is:

  • Collect cans from recycling plant or buy cases of soda with cans in colors he likes. Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray is a treasured can because of its bright green color.
  • Wash each can thoroughly to avoid attracting ants and other pests.
  • Commence two-step smashing process: 1 smashing step with a steel-toed boot, 1 flattening with a sledgehammer to round the corners and avoid sharp edges
  • Attach cans (in batches of just 30 at a time) to the house using a long aluminum nail, being careful never to put two of the same color next to each other.

Sadly, for all of us, RVOK hasn’t any plans to shingle anyone else’s house -- at least not until the smashing process can be properly mechanized.


Images via Eco Artware

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