Aeropods: Clever recycling or plane crazy?
Before everyone fell in love with tiny homes, backyard garden sheds and home offices were a staple of design websites including TreeHugger. They are still a big deal in the UK, where people have smaller houses, often with deep lots with space where the outhouse used to be. Shedworking, a site devoted to garden offices, is showing a new one made from the fuselages of jet planes, Dappr Aviation's Aeropod. Dappr describes it:
Made from aviation grade aluminium, engineered to fly at 30,000 feet and finished to the highest standards to your individual specification; Aeropods are unique and distinctive. Using a commercial airliner fuselage that would otherwise have been scrapped, we upcycle it to make a fantastically well engineered building. Aeropods are fully insulated and finished to the highest specification. Electricity and water can be installed. Options include heated floors and a wide range of finishes both internal and external. We can even strip the shell back to its original aluminium with a highly polished finish. We take the airframe of an A320 Airbus or a Boeing 737 and precision cut the Aeropods to retain the original aluminium floor bracing, fuselage shell and insulation. We fit them out with a highly insulated back wall and low emissivity glass doors.
Now Alex Johnson of Shedworking thinks this is wonderful, writing that "this is a very strong contender already for our design of the year." But looking at the renderings, I cannot help feeling that it is a little bit tight. Can you sit on a bar stool underneath those storage bins above?
Then there is the rendering of the lounge setup with Eero Aarnio's 1963 ball chair shown next to a wood stove. The ball chair is 4'-5" high, but in the rendering barely comes up to window sill height. It is also 40" wide and is sitting next to a wood stove that takes up 3' including required clearances, in a single bay module of 2 meters or 6'-6" deep. It is all a lovely idea but perhaps we should all wait until they build a prototype with real furniture before calling it a design of the year; as shown, I don't think it really works.
Ball chair in section of 737/CC BY 2.0
After writing all that I thought I should prove it before I suggest anyone is distorting the picture, and stuck a scaled Ball Chair on a section of a 737. I drew a red line across at 5'-6"; the average height of a British male is 5'-9" so it is a bit low. There is a fair bit of room available for average people; when you look at the photo on the news page there is clearly a lot of height and room.
But I probably still wouldn't furnish it with a ball chair.