Glittering Pavilion of Recycled Cans Rises Up in Bat-Yam, Israel

Empty silver tin cans lined up on a conveyor belt.

Noppawat Tom Charoensinphon / Getty Images

There's more than one way to recycle a can, and designers of this shining pavilion made of large, recycled cans in Bat-Yam, Israel demonstrate how a simple collection of cans can be used to re-define public space.

Created for the Bat-Yam International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism back in 2008 and spotted over at Recyclart, this structure was made using old soup cans that were linked together at various points of their surfaces, allowing for an accordion effect.

A pavilion made of silver tin cans.

Courtesy of Recyleart

The designers Lihi, Roee and Galit describe their concept for the pavilion, and why this particular site was chosen:

The combination of "hospitality" and "public space" implies an inner tension. How can people identify with public space and relate to it as if it were their own living rooms? We approach this question by fostering the participation of residents and visitors in the shaping of their environment, thus leaving their mark and presence on the space. The location we chose was an unoccupied lot where the municipality has planted a grove of palm trees, while the lot remains "on hold" for a construction project some time in the future.
The palm trees bestow an ambience of fantasy we chose to further emphasize by using shiny tin cans as building blocks; city conservation using a familiar household material in a new context. A sense of the exotic and a choice of no-man's-land, practically transparent to street traffic, sheds a new and different light on the space and reveals its latent potential. After sundown, pavilion visitors will be exposed to the street, the same way urban interiors are revealed for viewing every evening.

A pavilion made of out tin cans.

Courtesy of Recyleart

The overall structure is supported by a simple framework of metal rods, while the 'skin' created by the soup cans folds to form a surface for sitting as well.

Up close, the cans are open at both ends so that people can see through the structure. From afar, the pavilion almost looks like a human-sized hive of sorts, remaking an empty, transitional public space into something much more habitable.