Last year we wrote about Lot-ek’s recycled airplane fuselage library and got a ton of interest from people who appreciated the architects’ creative reuse of old planes. Well, it turns out that Lot-ek has another recycled airplane project for an education facility- check out this reclaimed aeronautical stunner. Using a 60-foot-long section of a Boeing 747 plane, Lot-Ek’s Student Pavilion at the University of Washington in Seattle turns fuselage into function.

The plane section is placed on a sloping site overlooking Lake Union. The Pavilion provides space for both work and play, and is supported mid-air by a steel pipe cradle system, providing access to the interior via a steel ramp. Despite the inherently rigid nature of the interior space, Lot-Ek proposed a flexible seating system that makes the space multi-functional and surprisingly comfortable. While the raw structural qualities of the fuselage are highlighted (its aluminum rib cage and metal grated floor), the rotating floor/seating systems adapts to accommodate three different positions/needs: floor, bench, and lounge.

This flexibility is ideal for a student gathering space, allowing every activity from lectures and parties to performances and movie screenings. Adding to the entertainment possibilities, the Pavilion is networked with Ethernet connections, and integrated projection screens can be pulled down along the perimeter of the entire fuselage, transforming the space into a “face-to-face” theater.

+ Lot-Ek

> Lot-ek Recycled Airplane Library

Lot-Ek’s > Lot-ek Shipping Container Housing


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  1. G June 8, 2007 at 2:30 am

    In response to Davids comment. You are absoloutely correct in stating that planes work in freezing conditions and are incredibly well insulated, the pictures above however show that the insulation has been stripped out along with the interior fittings making it a thermally conductive alluminium tube. It is possible to spray coat insulation onto these surfaces but it looks like the designer chose not to

  2. Connie June 6, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    I think this is a brillant idea. I don’t think its ugly, its very modern and stylish. If there is a problem with it being energy efficent, I am sure the designers and architects could come up with something to solve that issue.

  3. David June 6, 2007 at 4:54 am

    Could somebody knowledgeable answer the question about insulation? A couple people have claimed it’s not insulated at all. How can that possibly be true? Planes regularly spend hours in -60 F temperatures. Here in Seattle we rarely get below freezing…

  4. Don June 5, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Call me a Philistine, but aren’t there any other values besides recycling — like for instance aesthetics? That thing is UGLY. And come to think of it, what kind of heat loss does an aluminum-skinned room have? Sorry, but in this case the airplane graveyard should have kept the carcass and ground it up for use in beer cans and hub caps.

  5. mike June 5, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    maybe it would have been more efficient to do this project at the site of the airplane graveyard, so there wouldnt be wasted energy in moving the fuselage. but maybe all of us living in caves and drawing our ideas with the bones of elephants and sheeps blood on the walls would also be a step in the right direction since passing ideas along via the internet wastes electricity also.

    i think its refreshing to have a firm who sees opportunity in recyclables.especially when the recyclable materials dont need to be totally reprocessed to be reused. once the building returns itself to being junk at the bottom of the ocean, it will have been the worlds most versatile space. starting as a fortress in the sky, then a library on the ground, and then a reef in the gulf of idaho!

  6. dave June 5, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Please tell me this is a joke! I mean really – do they need the building at all? How much energy will be expended in getting this hulk supported and retrofitted?
    We need to start taking this stuff seriously, and silly stunts like this just help us to fool ourselves. We need to legislate change and alter our consuming and importing habits before it is too late!

  7. victoria June 2, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Another unique ‘GREEN” idea, Incredible! Love it!

  8. frank June 2, 2007 at 7:32 am

    …heating and cooling an UN-insulated aluminum tube will cost an arm and a leg…but of course, the designer will not have to pay for any of that…

  9. Connie Nye June 1, 2007 at 11:08 am

    As a former flight attendant who spent at least 25 years on the 747 and now as an interior designer I can really appreciate how this fuselage was recycled into a functional lounge. Excellent idea.

  10. Andrea June 1, 2007 at 10:13 am

    This is most excellent. Reduce, reuse and recycle!

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