This Seattle high-rise will feature its own Boeing 747

Yes, that’s an actual Boeing 747 nestled between two 48-storey luxury apartment blocks.

By David Flynn, November 16 2021
This Seattle high-rise will feature its own Boeing 747

Communal rooftop gardens, step aside – the latest standout feature in dazzling apartment developments is to incorporate a full-size Boeing 747 into the design.

That's the 'out there' thinking behind the new 1200 Stewart high-rise complex in Seattle's South Lake Union district.

In a nod to Boeing's Seattle heritage and the neighbourhood's post-industrial technology base, the fuselage of a Boeing 747 will be suspended four metres above the ground between the two 48-storey luxury apartment towers.

"You have so many of these light-filled glazed atriums in the middle of commercial or office buildings – that's nice but doesn't have a unique character," suggests architect Michael Sypkens, whose firm OSO is behind the oddly-juxtaposed jumbo.

"So, we really sought out designs that could create something more remarkable here," Spykens told The Seattle Times. "This is something that hopefully ties the past to the future."

After being shipped to the building site in 39 pieces, the wingless bulk of the former United Airlines Boeing 747 – stripped bare to showcase its gleaming aluminium hull – will be reassembled above a galleria between the apartment towers.

However, residents' hopes that the shell of the former United Airlines Boeing 747 might contain a unique co-working hub, a hip lounge and bar or even (shudder) a Starbucks cafe have been dashed.

1200 Stewart developers Westbank intend the 747 to serve primarily as office space, although Westbank founder Ian Gillespie promises occasional public exhibits.

"It's not something I’m going to open to the public all the time. I want to make it something that's special," he says. "(But) if people want to walk by the plane and take an Instagram photo, it's there for them."

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