When Francie Rehwald requested architect David Hertz to build her a home with a “feminine” and curved shape, he envisioned a floating roof reminiscent of a jetliner wing. The design seemed so seductively sensible that Hertz decided to construct the entire house out of a decommissioned, landfill-bound Boeing 747.
The structure incorporates nearly all of the jetliner, a whopping 4.5 million separate parts forming the property’s main residence and outlying edifices. The Main Residence and Master Bedrooms take advantage of the plane’s wings and tail stabilizers, the Art Studio, Guest House and Animal Barn integrate the cargo holds, fuselages and first class cabins, and the Meditation Pavilion is formed from the entire front of the 747. To add to the Wing House’s green credentials, the rest of the home is built out of 100% post-consumer waste, takes advantage of solar panels, natural ventilation, radiant heating, and mirror glazing. The house is registered with the FAA in order to ensure that from above the abode is not mistaken for a downed aircraft.
Hertz himself, a native of Los Angeles, has been fascinated with the intersections between human habitation and the natural landscape since childhood. His credentials as an architect, fabricator, and environmental designer include degrees from UCLA, The Southern California Institute of Architecture, and an internship with John Lautner and an apprenticeship under Frank Lloyd Wright. He holds numerous awards and publications, and was the youngest member to be inducted to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects.
The NY MOMA and Smithsonian boast pieces of Hertz’s environmentally focused furniture collections, and have been acquired as permanent parts of their collections. Hertz is also LEED certified, and has offered his services pro-bono to many non-profits, among them Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility and Business for Social Responsibility. As if this were not enough to make his resume shine so as to be seen from space, Hertz has also served as a faculty member for both UCLA and the Pasadena Art Center College of Design.
The environmental architectural movement has a great advocate in David Hertz, who will no doubt help in lifting the trend towards sustainable building off the ground.