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Return of the UC Spaceship

Look up to the skies, students of UC, the spaceship is coming into land.

The Futuro building (below) will be landing back on campus in May after over 6 months of having its exterior refurbished.

The Futuro before it was removed from the university campus Photo credit to Tim The Yowie Man
The Futuro before it was removed from the university campus
Photo credit to Tim The Yowie Man

Industrial designers Jon Burchill and Wade Bartlett from JB Design and consultants are currently renovating the structure in Fyshwick.

Mr Burchill explained the condition the building had arrived in.

“A lot of it had deteriorated, we had to replace the entire floor and the structure underneath and basically try and bring it back to what it used to look like and make it into a useable space,” they said.

The pair was engaged by the university to return the unique structure to its original condition.

Futuro was removed from campus late last year and will be returning as a teaching space in the recently updated building 5 courtyard.

Changes made include a glossy yellow coating, a motorised electric door and new windows helping to bring Futuro into the present.

Photo credit to Canberra Times
Photo credit to Canberra Times

The celestial entities and portraits of rockets in space painted on the dome roof inside will be replaced by modern conveniences such as air conditioning, lighting, shelving and Wi-Fi with the capacity to seat 14.

Photo Credit to Tim the Yowie  Man
Photo Credit to Tim the Yowie Man

The exact layout and design of the interior is yet to be determined. Design and architecture students may be given the chance to design it.

“I think it will be very popular amongst staff and students,” Mr Burchill predicted.

First arriving on campus in August of 2011 after being donated to the University by the Dickson Tradesman Club, the building was originally part of the structure of the Canberra Planetarium which was destroyed by fire in 2008.

Initially meant as a project for conservation students to restore, the spaceship was left abandoned and forgotten in the area between the University Hub and building 11 before being saved by Mr Burchill and his team.

Only 98 of these fibreglass out-of-this-world structures were ever built.

Originally intended as a form of cheap collapsible housing they were designed in Finland by architect Maati Suuronen in 1968, production of the buildings was ceased in 1970 due to a rise in material prices.

The restoration cost for the building is estimated at $250,000 and at time of interview was 60 percent completed.

By Sarah Collins

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