Sometimes, the greenest thing to do is to adapt something to reuse, rather than building or buying something new. We've seen this great examples of this practice in derelict churches that have been transformed into skateparks, Walmarts converted into public libraries, or a train transformed into a home.
In Stirling, Scotland we have yet another fabulous instance of how quirky adaptive reuse can get, as seen in this old Sea King helicopter that's been remade into a hotel of sorts. Designboom points us to Helicopter Glamping (meaning "glamorous camping"), it features a pretty luxurious interior (as helicopters go) that includes a bed, mini-kitchen and shower.
According to the hotel's owners, the Sea King was bought at an online auction a couple of years ago for a mere USD $9,125 and then transported by road and craned into place at the campsite. The owners spent several days sanding the exterior down, before repainting. Some original rotor blades were found via eBay and put on, while the other original markings and lights were kept, in order to give that touch of authenticity. But from what we can tell, this helicopter stays on the ground, all year round.
Inside, the walls have been insulated to keep the interior temperature comfortable during summer and winter, and covered with wood panelling to give it a clean, more seamless look, like "an upturned hull of a boat." The accommodations can sleep a family of five comfortably, using two larger beds, and a single twin bed located at the tail of the helicopter.
To allow more natural light to enter, a sun dome and glazed patio doors have been added to one side of the helicopter. There's also a new deck that allows visitors to enjoy the sunset.
There's more, as the proprietors explain:
Inside, we’ve retained many of the Sea King’s original features but have with removed the bulky sonar station, which was donated to The Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare, to make way for a shower room and mini-kitchen.
When we removed the sonar it left the perfect hole for us to plumb in the services. So now you can sit on the loo where the sonar operator once sat!
The real focal point of the interior however is the cockpit where you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views over the Carse of Stirling. The flight deck has been refitted with swivel seats and a table made from an old fuel tank cover and painted with an RAF roundel.
We’ve retained the original dashboard, roof panel switches and foot pedals, so you can experience the helicopter as she once was and pretend they are flying her on a mission!
It's quite a unique kind of overnight stay that makes a convincing case for adaptive reuse to get creative, and it's the kind of experience that would definitely amaze any kiddies, or any young-at-heart grown-ups. Prices start at $195 for two adults for one night, with slight discounts if you stay longer. For more information, visit Helicopter Glamping.