Flying low

What LOT-EK can do with shipping containers has to be seen to be believed. Oh I do love a shipping container, but I could fill this whole blog with them so I’ll restrain myself. Instead, let’s look at what they can do with an old airplane fuselage.

LOT-EK’s proposal for the Jalisco Library, Gudalajara, Mexico competition was to stack over 200 Boeing 727 and 737 fuselages in a north-south slant in relation to sun exposure for energy efficiency.

The fuselage of a decommissioned airplane cannot be effectively recycled because it costs more to demolish than you can get back from the aluminum resale. That is why you see those images of plane graveyards where hundreds of planes are rotting in the desert. They sell at very low prices even when stripped and in good condition.

The building would use the space inside the upper sections of the fuselages for book collections, meeting rooms and administration offices, while the lower section houses independent and interconnected mechanical systems: HVAC, electrical, cabling, and a conveyor belts network for the mechanical distribution of the books. Two large open spaces house a large atrium with all the reading areas on one side and two auditoriums on the other.

A transparent LCD system is integrated in the atrium glazing and projects the library activities onto the adjacent plaza.

But guess what? They didn’t win, they didn’t even make it to the finals. The winner was of course another of those boring glass boxes that seem to have such appeal for cultural bureaucrats.

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