Home sweet hangar

19 Mar 2010

Aeroplane hangar in Florida gets Bed and Breakfast license after innovative conversion

At first glance, it may appear that aeroplane hangars have limited uses, but 62 year old Daniel Shaw from Geneva, Florida has spent the last few years thinking outside the box – the 50ft by 60ft box to be exact. With the help of rural Fairfax manufacturer Schweiss Doors, Shaw has now converted his aeroplane hangar into a rather attractive living space. The innovative design includes an Irish community bar featuring fashion-smart bar stools, a kitchen, guest room/library, a 26ft palm tree, three bathrooms and a working lift amongst other canny elements.

Another intriguing aspect of this project is the 45ft by 15ft hydraulic door, which features wrap-around patio decking complete with table and chairs. Fastened to the inside of this sizeable door is a 15 inch by 20 inch movie screen which transforms the inside space into an indoor theatre for showing movies, or projecting scenes from some of Shaw’s aerial travels around America. For the big reveal, Shaw pushes a remote button and the entire door, including all outdoor accessories, rise to expose the deluxe interior. Schweiss Doors were invaluable in this project, happily accepting the challenge and using computer-driven templates and welding dynamics (including a larger hydraulic system for the heavier door) to better facilitate Shaw’s ideas.

Schweiss Doors design and build doors installed in hangars, commercial buildings, theatres, restaurants, equestrian stables and farm structures around the world. However, when Shaw said he wanted his hydraulic door with 4 inch metal trusses, Schweiss expressed skepticism as the company’s hydraulic doors have an 18 inch reinforcing truss at the base. They weren't initially aware of Shaw's full-width veranda porch being built on the front of his hangar door. ‘If you think it, we can build it’ has become the working mantra of this rural Minnesota firm. "We wanted to make certain that our door helped bring Dan Shaw's dream alive", said Mike Schweiss, CEO of Schweiss Doors.

In February, Shaw and his wife were granted a Bed and Breakfast license and will soon open their oversized hydraulic doors to those travelling in the Geneva area, which is about 15 miles northeast of Orlando. Having already hosted two weddings and with five other hangers on the 40 acre landing strip, it seems business is only just beginning for Daniel Shaw and his new hanger home.

Sian Disson

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