I was watching one of my favorite programs on the Sundance Channel the other day called “Big Ideas for a Small Planet”. It deals with new and old ideas for conserving and producing energy and resources. This most recent program dealt with a fantastic recycling idea in the architectural field.
Francie Rehwald, a 60-year-old retiree and Mercedes Benz dealership heiress, decided she wanted to build a home in Victorville, California. She requested that the home be curvy (with feminine lines), and it had to be environmentally friendly. She enlisted the help of architect David Hertz of Santa Monica. He came up with the idea of using a scrapped Boeing 747-200 jet; according to Hertz a scrapped jet could be purchased for merely the value of the aluminum used in the plane’s construction – which is approximately $30,000. In his plan, the wings would be used as a roof and the ailerons would control the shade on the deck. The nose would be reborn as a meditation temple. Some of the remaining scrap would be turned into shelters for barn animals. The cost of the project would be approximately $2 million (hey – she’s an heiress – no problem).
Since the completed project would look from the air like scattered pieces of a plane (which in essence is what it is!), the FAA has asked that “special numbers” be painted on the wings to let pilots flying overhead know that the site is not a crash site.
Below is the architect’s rendering of the finished project.