Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cool photo!

Time Picture of the DAY
Odd Anderson / AFP / Getty Images

A polar bear dries off in the sun after coming out of the water in his enclosure at a zoo in Berlin.

Read more:,31511,2006018,00.html#ixzz0v5wIbLti

Saturday, July 17, 2010

ME Want: A 747 Wing house

Here's a short video:


On a 55-acre property in the remote hills of Malibu, Calif., an old Boeing 747 is taking on a new life as the "Wing House."
By Laura Doss
Architect David Hertz came up with the idea after his client Francie Rehwald said she wanted a curved, feminine-shaped home for her lot overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He started sketching shapes and aircraft came to mind.
By Laura Doss
"Why not use an airplane wing?" he recalls asking her. Rehwald, who co-owns a Mercedes car dealership and loves to recycle, didn't flinch.
By Laura Doss
That was about three years ago, and Hertz says the energy-efficient project -- chosen as "This Week's Green House" --- is now about six months from completion as builders finish interior work.

"It speaks to repurposing and reuse," Hertz says of the commercial aircraft, which was mothballed along with hundreds of other old planes in the California desert.

By Laura Doss
By Laura Doss
Hertz, who founded Studio of Environmental Architecture, a Santa Monica-based firm, says Rehwald bought the entire Boeing 747-200 for $35,000. She then spent extra to deconstruct it into pieces and transport it to her property.
By Laura Doss
Because it was so huge -- more than 230 feet long, 195 feet wide and 63 feet tall, its parts have been spread over seven different structures. The plane's wings form the main residence while the cockpit has become the "Meditation Pavilion."
By Laura Doss

The first class cabin deck is now a guest house, and the lower half of the fuselage, which formed the cargo hold, serves as the roof of the "Animal Barn" intended to house endangered species.

The process wasn't easy. The remote location necessitated a lot of infrastructure work, including an access road. Due partly to the unique nature of the structure, Hertz says 17 government agencies had to sign off on permits, a process that took about 18 months.

He says they had to register the roof of the house with the Federal Aviation Administration so pilots flying overhead would not mistake it as a downed aircraft.

Hertz, who's been involved in green building since the late 1970s, incorporated sustainable features such as an 11 kilowatt solar array. The house also has a cistern for irrigation, plenty of daylighting, non-toxic materials and highly efficient equipment such as a ductless LG heat pump.

"We've created strategic openings to promote cross ventilation," says Hertz, who is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and an accredited professional with the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.

All this doesn't come cheap. Hertz says the home, which has about 3,000 square feet of interior space and 5,500 square feet of roof, will cost about $2 million.

Via Hertz's website: "The Main Residence will use both of the main wings as well as the 2 stabilizers from the tail section as a roof for the Master Bedroom. The Art Studio Building will use a 50-foot long section of the upper fuselage as a roof, while the remaining front portion of the fuselage and upper first class cabin deck will be used as the roof of the Guest House. The lower half of the fuselage, which forms the cargo hold, will form the roof of the Animal Barn. A Meditation Pavilion will be made from the entire front of the airplane at 28 feet in diameter and 45 feet tall; the cockpit windows will form a skylight."

Incidentally, the house is built on the site of designer Tony Duquette's eclectic Epcot-esque estate, which burnt down in the nineties. The property was formerly owned by famous designer Tony Duquette and still has many of the "recycled" structures that he installed, although the former residence was destroyed in a fire.

Check out this video: