Paul Pedini spent a decade working as an engineer on the Big Dig in Boston, and of one aspect of the project, he says: "There's something inherently illogical about it." He's pointing out that a lot of high-quality leftover construction material was supposed to be junked, but he could also be complaining about the Big Dig's status as the most expensive public works project in human history. Or its tendency to fall apart and kill people because it's held together with glue and duct tape.

Anyway, in the lemons-from-lemonade spirit, Pedini built that gorgeous modern house at the top solely from the Dig's waste materials. He says he'd also like to "recycle them into a public housing project, municipal parking garage, prison, even as a replacement bridge." The Cellar counters: "The only downside is that your public buildings will look like off-ramps." Here's what Boston's City Hall, built in a style called "Brutalism," actually looks like:


We'll take the off-ramp.