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The Futuro house by Matti Suuronen … restored by Craig Barnes, on show in Le Havre. Photograph: James Hemery
Like jetpacks, flying cars and robot butlers, the Futuro was supposed to revolutionise the way we lived.
Unlike those other staples of an imagined future, however, this architectural oddity actually existed.
A colourful pod in the shape of an ellipse, the Futuro was a sci-fi vision of the future, offering us a living space light years away from what most of us were used to.
Nicknamed the Flying Saucer and the UFO House, it was symbolic of the ambitious space-race era.
But as the Futuro celebrates its 50th anniversary, the revolution it promised clearly never happened.
One belongs to Craig Barnes, an artist based in London, who saw a Futuro in a “dishevelled and tired” state while on holiday in Port Alfred, South Africa.
He decided to mount a rescue mission. “I have family out there,” he says, “and I’d been seeing this Futuro since I was about three.
I viewed it as a spaceship. I drove past in 2013 and workers were knocking down a garage next to it. I panicked and managed to trace the owner.”