George Clarke has travelled the world looking at incredible homes, but his discovery of a UFO in Herefordshire was one of the most unusual.
The architect, who presents George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, met Craig Barnes, an artist who bought a so-called Futuro house in South Africa and brought it back to England. He paid around £25,000 to secure the iconic structure and bring it back to the UK.
The UFO is one of a small number of modernist houses created by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen as a rural holiday retreat, and their retro-futuristic design now exemplifies the 1960s pop culture zeitgeist. There are only around 60 left in the world and this is thought to be the only one in the UK.
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Craig brought the UFO to England in 16 fibreglass pieces. He wanted to create and rebuild the whole structure himself.
“Taking it to pieces was the worst five days of my life,” said Craig, speaking on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces in an episode first aired in 2012 but repeated on Sunday. “I really wanted to restore the Futuro as much as possible to the original Finnish design.”
Every piece of the Futuro house was restored to perfection over the course of almost a decade. Inside it feels like a spaceship. All the interior fibreglass fittings, including the iconic reclining chairs, have been recreated.
The spaceship includes a kitchen, living area and tiny pod bedroom. It cost around £60,000 to restore.
“I’ve been luck enough to see many Amazing Spaces projects,” said George Clarke. “With some of them I think ‘I’m quite jealous I’d quite like one of them’. With this one it’s a completely different league. I think it’s one of the coolest spaces ever.”
The Futuro did a couple of London rooftop landings at Matt’s Gallery and Central Saint Martins. In 2018 it summered in Le Havre, France, where 30,000 people visited it. It now sits in Marston Park in Frome, Somerset.
Where is the Futuro UFO House now?
The Futuro House is now available to stay in at Marson Park in Frome, Somerset and available to book for holidays. Prices start from £400 – £1,200 per night based on two adults sharing.
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