New Purpose For Old Airplane Wing, The massive aluminum section of an old 747 is recycled as part of a chic Malibu home. The wing house – a house made out of an old Boeing 747, I’ve always had a fascination with airplanes. Watching jets take off and land has always inspired awe. And I’m still perplexed at how the laws of physics allow these multi-ton metal machines to cruise through the air. Simply put, there’s just something cool about jets.
It’s not often you see a 747 from up close, so I was especially excited to visit the Wing House. And Not only is Francie Rehwald’s cutting-edge home a testament to the developing world of repurposed building, but it’s set high in the beautiful Hills of Malibu, just 30 miles north of Los Angeles. Covering this story would practically be a vacation!
One of the first things you notice driving onto Ms. Rehwald’s 55-acre property is the extensive use of recycling. The grounds are landscaped with native flowers and existing decorative pieces that pay homage to her efforts to live green. Walkways are made from the foundation of the house that used to stand on the site. Lamps perch atop reused streetlights. So it’s no surprise that when the opportunity came to build much of her home from the leftover bits of a passenger airplane, Ms. Rehwald was game.
David Hertz used every part he could, including this engine cowling turned fountain.
As Apple laptop designs have shown us, aluminum can be a beautiful material when it’s not in soft-drink can form. And it’s definitely on stunning display at the Wing House. The 747’s arcing wings were designed with function in mind, but their forms are breathtaking up close. Light catches their curves and reflects beautifully. The contrast between the aluminum and the surrounding nature is striking. This house serves as both a testament to the power of aesthetic design and the growing field of repurposed construction.
Recycling is obviously a buzzword we’ve been hearing about for decades. But repurposing is recycling on a big scale – reusing existing materials in a new and sustainable way. Instead of being broken down into pieces that would become soft drink cans, in this case the entire wing was reused – basically, as is. Architect David Hertz told us that with the Wing House, repurposing gave them greener transportation methods and tremendous savings in both material costs and time. What’s not to love?