Love travel and love real estate? Why not bring the two together? That’s exactly what American architects from Studio of Environmental Architecture did when they created the 747 Wing House.
The roof of this Malibu home is made from the wings of an airplane, which are suspended over self-supporting glass walls that front the hillside house. Parts of the airplane tail shelter the master bedrooms, while the fuselage covers a guesthouse, barn and artist’s studio that are each house in separate buildings. A large skylight over the meditation pavilion was crafted out of the plane’s cockpit.
The creative architects responsible for this unique home had to register it with the Federal Aviation Authority so that pilots passing by would not mistake it for a crashed jet on a hillside.
The project was constructed on a 55-acre property up in the remote hills of Malibu with unique topography and panoramic views looking out to a nearby mountain range, a valley and the Pacific Ocean with islands in the distance.
Eccentric designer Tony Duquette, who developed over 21 structures incorporating found objects from around the world, first owned the property. When searching for inspiration for the 747 Wing House, the architects imagined a roof structure that would allow for an unobstructed view of the mountain range and distant views. The client, a woman who co-owns a Mercedes car dealership, requested curvilinear/feminine shapes for the building. It soon became apparent that airplane wings would form a perfect floating curved roof. The wing structures were conceived to be positioned to float on top of simple concrete, shotcrete, and rammed-earth walls that are cut into the hillsides.
The scale of a 747 aircraft is enormous, over 230 feet long, 195 feet wide and 63 feet tall with over 17,000 cubic feet of cargo area alone. The architects verified with the building department that there is nothing specifically prohibiting the use of an airplane wing as a roof and then begin to explore the actual structure of the wings in particular and examined if other parts might be used for additional accessory structures on the house. They acquired an entire aircraft and used as many of the components as possible.