Steel Shots: Building for a Cause

Structural engineering firm Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA) was awarded Juror’s Favorite in this year’s CANstruction NYC Design/Build Competition with their “Hungry to the Core” canned sculpture. Photo: Courtesy of LERA

Structural engineering firm Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA) was awarded the top prize in the 2014 CANstruction NYC Design/Build Competition. Their “Hungry to the Core” design was honored as the Juror’s Favorite, marking the third year in a row the firm has won the award.

The sculpture is a vivid representation of an apple core created with 3,300 bold red and yellow sardine cans. LERA’s mission statement for the project sums up the spirit of the CANstruction competition which donates canned goods to local hunger relief organizations:

"Every day, we rub shoulders with people in every walk of life. Every day, we walk past those less fortunate. As the apple's fruit protects its seeds, we can help protect those in need. It's up to us to keep our city's core, our people, nourished and thriving. In the Big Apple - a city that's Hungry to the Core - it's up to us to help those seeds grow roots and flourish. Here's an apple. It's for you."

The project was a collaborative effort led by LERA’s team Co-Captains, Stephen Pfund and Ksenia Tretiakova, both design engineers.

The CANstruction NYC exhibit will be open until November 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (including weekends) in the Winter Garden and lobby of 250 Vesey Street, Brookfield Place. You can also vote for your favorite sculpture in the People’s Choice award category at the organization’s Facebook page.

This NYC event is part of the international Canstruction competition, which celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year and is annually held in numerous cities throughout the world. For more information, visit

You can find some of LERA’s large-scale steel building projects in MSC. Check out their latest article “Justice is Served” from our September issue.