There is a new residence in the Malibu hills constructed mostly from an old airplane. Consisting of a main house and six auxiliary buildings, the 747 Wing House is an innovative example of sustainable architecture created for a client who requested a unique home with great curves and a green bent.
Santa Monica architect David Hertz, who helms the Studio of Environmental Architecture, designed a sleek and environmentally responsible dwelling by using post-consumer waste in the form of a retired Boeing 747-200. To minimize land disturbance, Hertz chose to reuse some of the 55-acre property’s existing foundations and situate the buildings so as to maximize natural light and air flow, and to achieve the finest possible sight lines.
Though delivering the plane’s parts required extraordinary and expensive measures—such as a Chinook helicopter—overall, the jumbo jet’s raw materials and prefabricated structures afforded Hertz a cost-effective and energy-saving opportunity in material and labor. He says, “The scale of a 747 aircraft is enormous—over 230 feet long, 195 feet wide, and 63 feet tall with over 17,000 cubic feet of cargo area alone—and represents a tremendous amount of material for a very economical price of less than $50,000 dollars.”
The wings, which seem to float, shape the roof of the main house, while the giant curved fuselage tops the guest house, art studio, and animal barn. Cockpit windows serve as skylights, and the engine’s cowling has been repurposed as ornament in the landscape. There are many more instances of reuse and adaptability on the property.
The 747 Wing House was featured on HGTV’s “Extreme Living”. View the clip here:
After discovering the 747 Wing House, I was inspired to find more examples of recycled aircraft. Here is a slide show of other homes and products fashioned from planes, helicopters, and various other salvaged parts.
For more on salvage, consider the following Bob Vila articles: