London Junk Skyline

What is your favourite building in London? Is it the Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral, The London Eye, The ‘Gherkin’… or maybe you have a favourite building near where you live? We want your help in creating the London skyline using junk material!

Recreate your favourite building in London out of anything you have in your recycling bin…

The winners of this challenge, judged by Thomas Aquilina of Adjaye Associates, were collaged into the skyline above, but you can still take part by uploading your creations at the bottom of the page!


Step 1: Gathering Junk

Work as a family to have a really good look in your recycling bin, bag, or box, and around your home too. What could you use to build your masterpiece?

Look out for: Cereal boxes (and inside bag), Egg boxes, Juice cartons/ bottles, Toilet/ kitchen paper/ tinfoil rolls, milk bottles, Food trays, Bubble wrap, Soap dispensers, Scrap paper/ Newspapers/ Magazines, Paper/ plastic cups etc as well as other things like String, Wire, Elastic bands, Paperclips, cocktail sticks, bamboo BBQ sticks, Scrap fabric, etc.

N.B. Please be careful with sharp edges, and make sure food trays and bottles are clean for you to work with.

Step 2: Warm up exercise

What you’ll need: Your collected junk and other materials, scrap paper and pencils and/or pens (colouring pencils, Felt-tips, biros etc)

— Place all your found junk objects on a table or the floor
— ALL look closely at this group of objects for various shapes
— ALL sketch draw the shapes you see
— ALL try drawing the outline of one or more of the objects, trying not to take your pen of the paper.

Step 3: Transform your junk into a building

What you’ll need: Your collected junk, other materials, sketches, scrap paper, pens and access to the internet.

— List all the shapes (2D & 3D) that you see in your junk materials and sketches.
— Do these shapes remind you of any London buildings? Or shapes found in certain buildings?
— Take a look at Open House London’s website here for 800 examples of London buildings.
— Now DECIDE on which London Building you’re going to make a model of!

Step 4: Make your model

What you’ll need: Your junk material, and any other materials found, scissors, sticky tape, glue. Also hole puncher, stapler (not essential).

Before you start making, look at:

Step 5: Sketch and photograph your model

What you’ll need: scrap paper, pencils and / or pens, mobile phone camera.

Once you’ve finished your model:
— ALL sketch your model and label key features (eg materials and/or structure of the building, name of building)
— Photograph your sketches and model – see our tips for help

Step 6: Upload your work

We’d love to see what you make! Scroll down to find out how to upload your masterpiece.

Video example

Since launching at the RCA in 2018, and over the last two summers, Celebrating Architecture has worked with 175 young people from schools across London. Through our Pavilion workshop days these students (aged 9-18 years and from all backgrounds) have discovered, experienced and made architecture in cultural environments, alongside leading London Architects.

This creative and aspirational learning initiative is led by architecture educators, Neil Pinder and Venetia Wolfenden, with the key aim to bring diversity into the profession, so that our future built environments reflect the societies that they are designed for. We are also determined to promote the importance of creative subjects in state schools to ensure continuation of a diverse pipeline of talent to the profession.

Show us your work

Devon Grieve, age 10 - Building: Natural History Museum

Karis Walker, age 18 - Building: London Eye

Aiden, age 8 - Building: Buckingham Palace

Derin Cetinkaya, age 7 - Building: Big Ben

Gaspar and Marina, age 7 & 3 - Building: Canary Wharf

Khatun, age 12 & 16 - Building: Houses of Parliament
Upload your work

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The maximum upload file size: 10 MB.
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