Radical Reuse: Transforming Recycled Aircraft into Energy-Efficient Structures

new-jalisco-library-guadalajara-mexico (All images by LOT-EK)

Back in 2006, award-winning New York design studio LOT-EK proposed the radical reuse of over 200 discarded aircraft fuselages in the construction of the new Jalisco Library in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The public building finally opened in October 2012 sportingĀ a different design. But as boneyard enthusiasts who’ve featured many abandoned aircraft on our site, we wanted to showcase the proposalĀ as a brilliantly imaginative way to reuse recycled planes.


The design’s core structure integrates several hundred Boeing 727 and 737 fuselages “stacked in a north-south slant in relation to sun exposure for energy efficiency”.


While the majority of retired airliners are eventually cut-up for scrap, the boneyards of America’s western deserts are a treasure trove of abandoned aircraft parts, from small components to stripped-out airframes.

And with 727s largely retired from passenger service globally and 737s among the most produced commercial jets in aviation history, it’s little wonder that their gutted shells are available in abundance.


The year LOT-EK submitted its proposal, Flight Global reported that “on average more than 1,250 737s are in the air at any one time. In the [five minutes] it takes to read this feature, more than 65 737s will have landed and taken off.”


So even if LOT-EK’s design didn’t make the final cut, there’s no shortage of discarded airliner parts to employ in future adaptive reuse projects. Let’s hope they’re as cool as this one!



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