Type: Library & Auditorium
Design: 2005
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
Size: 11,000 SQFT
Structure: Buro Happold
Mechanical/Sustainability: Buro Happold

A library is realized when 200 airplane fuselages from Boeing 727s and 737s are combined to create a daring new structure in Guadalajara, Mexico. These massively beautiful objects are stacked in a north-south slant in relation to maximum sun exposure for energy efficiency. Shifts in the direction of the fuselages main axis generate two large, open spaces within the structure.
The building efficiently utilizes the fuselage bodies to contain and organize functions that require enclosed spaces - such as book collections, meeting rooms and administrative functions - while the main open areas house a large atrium with public reading areas on one side, with two auditoriums on the other.
The library is programmed around a large glazed atrium, which develops vertically through the entire cross section of the building. The lower area of the atrium, located on the second level and accessible directly via escalators and elevators, functions as a lobby and information center. At each upper level, the reading areas serve as a bridge between the two opposite interior facades, generated by the cross sections of the fuselages that look onto the atrium. A transparent LCD system is integrated in the atrium glazing and projects library activities onto the new plaza expanding its presence on the outside. Fuselages adjacent to the atrium are also occupied, containing additional book collections, meeting rooms and a technology center. All of the cylindrical volumes are visually connected thru their glazed ends.
The fuselage is the only part of a de-commissioned airplane that cannot be effectively recycled. The cost of its demolition exceeds the profit of aluminum resale. Therefore, a huge amount of fuselages lay discarded in the deserts of the western states. Boeing 727s and 737s are historically the most sold commercial planes and therefore the most common in these “aviation graveyards”. They are sold at very low prices, completely stripped and in excellent structural condition.