AIA Northern Virginia
Canstruction® 2019
October 4 - October 12, 2019
at Dulles International Airport


On October 4 local architects will build a series of incredible structures at Dulles International Airport in less than seven hours!

The remarkable pace of construction is owed to the fact that the installations were constructed entirely of canned foods. After a public viewing period, the structures will be de-Canstructed and donated to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), a non-profit organization providing supplemental groceries to families in need.

Organized by AIA Northern Virginia Chapter and AFAC, our 16th annual Canstruction® competition celebrates the commitment that local architects have made to support their community and have fun while doing so. Most importantly, hundreds of families will benefit from thousands of donated cans. . During the last 15 years we have donated hundreds of thousands of cans to help feed our neighbors. In 2018 we donated over 20,000 pounds of food and $40,500 in cash to AFAC.

Children and adults alike will enjoy viewing the delightful and inventive structures. The public is invited to watch teams build on October 2 from 5:00p until midnight. The structures will be on public display at the airport through October 12.

Before these whimsical works become meals, they will be evaluated by an expert jury and awarded in the categories of Best Original Design, Best Meal, Best Use of Labels, Most Cans, People’s Choice and Structural Ingenuity. Winning entries will go on to compete in the International Canstruction competition, where two of our teams placed in the top five in their categories in 2018: Maginniss & del Ninno Architects took 2nd place in the Best Meal category with A Pepper for All the People and HGA won 5th place in Best Original Design with Hunger. Together We Can Crack this Nut.

A Pepper for All the People

Maginniss + del Ninno Architects - A Pepper for All the People
Best Meal at the 2018 AIA Northern Virginia Competition
2nd place Best Meal category in the 2018 International Canstruction Competition
Photograph © J. D. Boswell


Hunger: Together we Can Crack This Nut

HGA - Hunger: Together We Can Crack This Nut!
Best Original Design at the 2018 AIA Northern Virginia Competition
5th place Best Original Design category in the 2018 International Canstruction Competition
Photograph © John A. Burns, FAIA


During our 15 years of participation, our teams have earned the top International Award for Jurors’ Favorite TWICE, competing with over 1,200 structures from cities worldwide. MTFA Architecture took top prize in the 2015 competition and Samaha Associates won the award in 2010.

Thank you to Dulles Airport for supporting Canstruction and welcoming us to build in their terminal.

Only a few building spots remain. Download the Canstruction Team registration form here.

A limited number of Canstruction Competition Sponsorships are available.

For additional information, please contact the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org or (703) 549-9747.

Canstruction® is a national charity of the design and construction industry under the auspices of the Society for Design Administration. For additional information and to see sample structures, visit the Canstruction website.