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Using Airplane Parts To Create Sustainable Architecture: Wing House [Video]

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Wing House is an original project belonging to David Hertz Architects Inc, and located in in the remote hills of Malibu, with unique views over a nearby mountain range, a valley, and the Pacific Ocean with islands in the distance. The project consists of several structures, each employing various parts of a Boeing 747-200 aircraft. Wing House is the main residence and uses both of the main wings as well as two stabilizers from the tail section in order to serve as a roof for the master bedroom. Here is more from the architects: “The client, a woman who co-owns a Mercedes car dealership, requested curvilinear/feminine shapes for the building. The progenitor of the building’s form was envisioned as a floating curved roof. It soon became apparent, that in fact, an airplane wing itself could work. In researching airplane wings and superimposing different airplane wing types on the site to scale, the wing of a 747, at over 2,500 sq. ft., became an ideal configuration to maximize the views and provide a self supporting roof with minimal additional structural support needed“.

“The 747 represented the single largest industrial achievement in modern history and its abandonment in the deserts make a statement about the obsolescence and ephemeral nature of our technology and our society. As a structure and engineering achievement, the aircraft encloses a lot of space using the least amount of materials in a very resourceful and efficient manner. The recycling of the 4.5 million parts of this “big aluminum can” is seen as an extreme example of sustainable reuse and appropriation. American consumers and industry throw away enough aluminum in a year to rebuild our entire airplane commercial fleet every three months.” The new home features plenty of environmental features, starting from using materials that are 100% post-consumer waste, to solar power, radiant heating and natural ventilation. How would you comment on this project’s concept and design?

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An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic

What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests

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