TheFuturoHouse.com | Latest Site News & Updates
- Location | Christchurch, New Zealand (Vicinity Only)
- Lat/Long | Unknown
- Previous Location | 115 Riria Kereopa Memorial Dr, Raglan 3297, New Zealand & Whangaparaoa, New Zealand & Tauranga, New Zealand
- Previous Lat/Long | 37°48'16.13"S 174°50'40.77"E & Unknown & 37°39'52.85"S 176°12'30.50"E
- Image By Owner Tim | 051821
- Google Street View | April 2008 (Previous Location)
- Latest Confirmation | 051821
Information Update History
Last time around (the 042821 Update
to this page) we began recounting the story of this Futuro from the time it went up for sale back in Raglan to its new location and all that happened along the way as told by its owner in photos via Instagram (@futurohousenz
Here we continue that journey where we left off last time. The photos here were posted to Instagram 050121 thru 051821 and the originals can all be found here
. Once again thanks so much for sharing this with us Tim!
As before the best way to tell the story is to do so using Tim's own words. This is how he described this first set of photos:
"2016 Restoration underway. First job was to remove all the old plywood ribs that were glued, bolted and fiberglassed in to the base sections to form the structure of the floor.
There are two different steel profiles in each lower section, one at the centre where all the sections bolted together and two where the Futuro rests on the ring base. These all needed to be treated to remove rust and protect for the future. New moisture resistant plywood forms were cut ready to refit, glue and bolt in position.
All the glue used to stick on the rubber strips to the exterior joints needed to be removed.
Time had taken its toll on the gel coat exterior as can be seen in photos.
Steve had done a great job to this point, next it was time to get the specialists involved!
This next series of photos was accompanied by this commentary (note the new white finish):
"July 2017 the Futuro flies off to Timaru and Industrial Fiberglass Solutions for a full rebuild to prepare for its next mission."
This set of photos focused on the door and stairs with Tim telling us that the:
"Entrance Stairs were full of water and the steel insert within (used to fix hinges and locking handle) was rusted out, another big job!
New steel plates fabricated, internal door insulation and step reinforcing replaced and door reinstated back to as new.
A small step for man but a large step for mankind."
Here we learn a little about the support ring and legs as we are told:
"Next this spaceship needed legs.
The old steel support structure had been so corroded by the salt air in Raglan that it was beyond repair so a new one had to be made. While we were at it decided to make 2 extra sections with the longer legs so the Futuro could land on sloping sites as well.
These photos and the attached commentary relate to the windows and the choice to go with the original Finnish design; Tim tells it this way:
"European Spec? Some restorations seek to replicate the new state, others to customize to suit the new owners needs.
To me the most iconic view of the Futuro shows the 4 lower windows. With the licensing agreements to manufacture Futuro's around the globe in the 70's there was some subtle and some significant differences between those produced in Finland, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
A significant difference was that the original Finnish design had 4 "lower" windows to compliment the usual 16 elliptical shaped windows at mid height while because the floors in the US models were higher ( to create more usable floor space) they could only accommodate one row of lower windows.
The model produced in NZ had no lower windows even though they had the same floor height as the European version, probably as a way of reducing costs.
IFS were able to replicate exactly the size and position of the lower windows after Marko Home very kindly sent me thru the measurements taken from the WeeGee Futuro! Thanks Marko, we are rapt we have gone the extra mile, they look great!"
We love these two photos and Tim's descriptions. The first is "Empty Canvas" and the second "Landing Gear Down"
These two photos are simply described as:
"Preparing for landing."
And these get an even shorter and simper description:
These photos were described as follows:
- Topping out? (Photo 1)
- Thought we'd try a different way of doing this, top half.......take two (Photos 2 & 3)
- Lift Off (Photos 4,5 & 6)
This stunning shot was described by Tim is this way:
"Just like this shot."
We could not agree more! She looks awesome
Owning a Futuro is not something many of us will ever be able to experience (ourselves included though we wish it were not so); not only are they very rare they are also very expensive to purchase, move and renovate. Thankfully we are often able to take a little "Futuro Journey" with those who are lucky enough to be able to experience Futuro ownership as they are so often very willing to share their experiences.
In this case Tim, owner of this Futuro, recently created an Instagram account (@futurohousenz
) and is in process of sharing his journey to that account. He has kindly also allowed us to share his story here (which begins way back on 2013 when Tim purchased the Futuro). We really appreciate you sharing your story Tim, thank you!
This first set of photos date from March 2013 when Tim took a trip to see the Futuro he had already purchased. In Tim's own words this is what he found:
"... all the rubber window seals had shrunk and dried to the point when it rained water ran inside, most of the exterior joins in the segments had butynol rubber strips glued over them to stop leaks, various holes had been cut in the structure for wires and pipes, the water that had made it inside had run down and gathered in the base sections, generally rotting out the plywood/particle board base ribs and rusting the metal plates in the base sections, the support ring was rusted close to the point of collapse, the list just went on and on ...
This was going to be a challenge! All that aside - it's a Futuro and it's very very COOL.
Of course we totally agree with that last thought!
Fast forward a little and we arrive at September 2015 from which this next set of photos dates. Tim accompanied them with these remarks:
"Time to start pulling this thing apart (I mean, how hard can it be?)
I headed up to Raglan with a set of basic tools and a plan to strip out the internal fittings and sort out the logistics for the shift.
House was quite different with all of Peter's belongings removed, they're a bit like the Tardis, and it is surprising how much space is inside these houses. Time to get to work!"
Love the Tardis reference; the Doctor being another passion of yours truly.
This next set of photos were shot during the process of dismantling and removing the interior fixtures and fittings. Tim, again in his own words, tells us that:
"Removing the internal walls proved a breeze.
Futuro's were designed to be assembled and disassembled easily, making them simple to relocate depending on the owners requirements. Original internal walls are thin timber frames, skinned in fiberglass panels and insulated with the same polystyrene that insulates the outer structure.
Cool feature was the negative detail created by the curved black timber that bordered each panel.
Easy to remove, they're pretty smart those Finns! Interestingly these NZ Futuro's were lined with the fiberglass "shelving" units including under the bed and behind the kitchen bench."
Finally in October 2015 the Futuro was ready to make the move south. Tim recalls that"
"With Chris and a couple of local lads managed to dismantle the ship over two days and load onto the truck for the 1000km trip south. Went pretty smoothly, top sections were manhandled down and a hiab handled the 8 lower segments."
We are really looking forward to following this story as it progresses and will continue to update this page as Tim adds new photos and information but of course to be first "in the know" you should follow Tim on Instagram (@futurohousenz
A 2013 article on stuff.co.nz
told us that this Futuro had been moved to Raglan
). Until now we had not seen a photo of the Futuro at that location nor known its precise location.
However, this past week we received an email from Steve Richard in which he included information about a Futuro located on the corner of Golf Road and Maunganui Rd, Mt Maunganui
; other than a vague comment on Facebook some years ago from someone who though they recalled a Futuro in Mt Maunganui we had not heard of this as a location for a Futuro previously. However quick trip to Wikipedia told us that Mt Maunganui was actually a suburb of Tauranga and so we concluded that the information most likely related to this Futuro prior to its move to Raglan.
Steve included in his email a link to this photo. It is a black and white photo so we cannot be 100% sure but it looks like the unit must have been refinished after the move to Raglan as it looks white in this photo. The photo is displayed here under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ
license and the original can be found in the Western Bay Of Plenty District Council Community Archives here
Steve indicated that the Futuro was located on the corner of Golf Road and Maunganui Rd, Mt Maunganui (37°39'52.85"S 176°12'30.50"E) and even located the aerial imagery seen below (dated 101377) on Retrolens which clearly shows the Futuro at the location at that time. Later imagery shows that the Futuro had been removed from this location by 110778.
We recently caught up with owner Tim Hoban. Tim updated us on progress with his Futuro restoration project and also sent us a couple of photos.
The small photo top left shows the Futuro on its arrival in Raglan back around 1984 being hoisted into position by crane; to be honest we thought we had seen this photo and added it to this site long ago but it seems not so here it is - thanks Tim.
As for the restoration project Tim tells us work is progressing with the last several weeks seeing fiberglass repair work on the base segments. The photo below shows one of the base segments being prepared to have new ply floor ribs fiberglassed into the structure.
Tim also added a rather interesting note about the entrance which he tells us is not centered between two windows but actually offset to one side of the section. This would actually match the configuration of the US manufactured Futuros where the entrance was located directly below a window as opposed to centered between two windows.
Tim is actively researching the history of his Futuro and he tells us he believes it is the one that was used as a bank branch by the Bank Of New Zealand
at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games
which ran from 012474 through 020274. It was located at the games main venue, Queen Elizabeth II Park
, New Zealand
. A couple of photos can be found here
. Always hate to contradict an owner but our information regarding multiple Futuros suggests this is not very likely.
What is interesting to note in those photos is that the entrance is visible in one of the two units, the orange one, and in that case the entrance is certainly centered between two windows. In the case of the green Futuro the entrance is not visible and so that could be the one Tim now owns though we do wonder what the likelihood is of the two Futuros installed for the Commonwealth Games being structurally different (Tim - forgive us for doubting you but we know you know the early history of many of the Futuros is somewhat clouded and often there is contradictory evidence).
The Raglan Futuro has now been moved to Christchurch where it will be restored by owner Tim Hoban. The photos below show the Futuro being disassembled 102715, transported to Christchurch and in storage in a disassembled state in its new "temporary" home. Tim tells us that he and a group of four volunteers who:
"started early on Tuesday morning and by a late lunchtime had all the top sections off and stacked ready for transport. Spent the rest of the day unbolting and separating the lower sections (a number of bolts having to be cut off) Wednesday morning our Hiab arrived and we lifted the lower sections off the ring and onto the ground for loading onto our transporter which arrived at 12.30. We basically manhandled the sections on to the back of the transporter and it left Raglan fully loaded for CHCH at 2.30pm. With a trailer load of internal fittings, wall sections etc I drove the 1000km back to CHCH including a 2.30am Cook Strait Ferry sailing to meet the truck at our CHCH base where the Futuro will be restored at 1.00pm and a hour later it was unloaded and tucked away."
We wish Tim well with his restoration project and look forward to seeing photos of another restored Futuro in the future.
Owner Tim Hoban emailed us yesterday with some interesting information about his Futuro along with details of a rare opportunity for people to get "up close and personal" with a Futuro. Our thanks to Tim for sharing this information.
Recently Tim spent a couple of days breaking down the Futuro's internal fittings, furniture and wall panels (some photos at various stages along with an exterior shot can be found below) to get the Futuro ready for disassembly prior to shipping to Christchurch where Tim will start restoration work.
Tim is planning to disassemble the Futuro on Tuesday and Wednesday October 20-21 and he is looking for any volunteers who have an interest in Futuro and would like to assist in the work.
Obviously for anyone in the area or who can travel to the location this is a rare opportunity to get "hands on" with Futuro and we are hoping that Tim will find a crowd on Tuesday next week; coffee, cakes and lunch will be provided. For those who do attend it is important that you are physically fit. We would love such an opportunity but New Zealand is a little far.
Along with information about the upcoming disassembly of the Futuro Tim also confirmed a little of the history of the unit and provided a little information about its condition.
Tim tells us that he does not think the Futuro has ever been disassembled since it was purchased by the original owner, Peter Farrell, around 1975 and that he believes the unit was relocated from Whangaparaoa
to Raglan in a fully assembled state in 1984.
As for the condition of the unit Tim writes:
"As the site is exposed to the elements in its seaside environment the support ring is suffering extensive rust and we will be using a scaffold to support the base of the Futuro during its disassembly. The surface of the gel coat has fared much better. In my opinion the Gelcoat finish of the NZ Version of the Futuro seems to have weathered better than say the U.S. version, may be in part to the fact they were manufactured by a company experienced in fiberglass boat building.
There have been several restorations in recent years and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the end results of another such project.
Good luck Tim! We hope everything goes well.
We now know that the Futuro has been purchased by Tim Hoban who emailed us recently (thanks Tim, great to make your acquaintance) and told us that he had purchased the unit back in Feb/March 2013 and was planning on dismantling the unit and moving it to Christchurch early in 2014.
We also recently came across an article entitled "Bach To The 'Futuro' Anyone?
" that appeared on stuff.co.nz on 010714 which also reported that Tim had purchased the unit for $80,000 and was soon to relocate it to Christchurch.
The Raglan Futuro made the news with its upcoming move in a 010514 article by John Weekes entitled "Spaceship Home Flies Off To Explore Southern Frontier
" in The New Zealand Herald
We learn nothing new in the article but it is accompanied by an interesting photo (below) by Michael Craig which is either photo shopped or used time lapse to achieve a, presumably, "ufo" appropriate effect in the sky. A pdf of the article can be found here
The Raglan Futuro has now been sold; the sale was for $80K and was for the Futuro only, neither the land nor the other buildings were a part of the deal. The buyer was from Christchurch; no indications as yet of whether the Futuro will move there but since the land was not a part of the deal the assumption must be that it will be moved from its current location. Thanks for keeping us up to date with developments Sue.
In email correspondence with a local entrepreneur we were told that the Futuro did not sell at the auction March 2nd. That same local entrepreneur is currently working on a possible purchase which, if successful, would almost certainly add another Futuro to the list of those available for rent. We will likely know the outcome of that within a week or two. We are keeping our fingers crossed all goes well; this would almost certainly provide another opportunity for those who have an interest in the Futuro House to get just a little taste of the "Futuro" experience by renting one for a vacation.
This video, posted on YouTube
(Dead link - can be viewed or downloaded here
) by Mike O'Neill, features some nice footage of both the exterior and the interior of the Raglan Futuro.
A Futuro for sale will almost always generate a little publicity and this one is no exception. Campbell Live
, a leading current affairs program broadcast on New Zealand's TV3
, just ran the following segment on the Raglan Futuro and its upcoming auction. A little too "alien" centric and not enough focus on Futuro's architectural significance for our taste but it does include some nice exterior and interior footage.
(030313) This video has been removed from YouTube - you can still find it streamed on the TV Station's website here
It seems that the Raglan Futuro is on the market; up to be auctioned at 5:00 PM March 2nd 2013. The property at 115 Riria Kereopa Memorial Drive can be found listed for sale by Ray White Real Estate here
(Link now leads to a resale of the property without the Futuro - see pdf of orginal listing here
In the listing we read that the property up for sale includes the spaceship, a second dwelling, a large 3 car garage and a brand new 30 year lease. There are open viewings February 6th and 9th and the property will be auctioned March 2nd if no one purchases it before then.
A Waikato Times article by Daniel Adams that can be found on stuff.co.nz
provides more information on the listing along with a little historical context.
Adams tells us that:
"Ray White real estate agent Stephen O'Byrne says there is good interest in the quirky offering, priced at 'high twos, low threes'.
The article goes on to recount how sea captain Peter Farrell decided to buy the Futuro after some of his junior officers saw it in Tauranga in the 1970s. Sadly Mr. Farrell recently passed and hence the upcoming auction.
Good luck to all who bid; we would love one of those bidders to be us but sadly such a thing is way beyond our means and in any case Raglan is half way around the globe from where we "lay our hats". Here's hoping a true Futuro "nut" wins the auction and that the Futuro gets the attention and care we believe it deserves.
The photos below accompanied the Ray White Real Estate listing.
Recently David Osbiston aka ozbizbozzle sent us this excellent close up shot of the Raglan Futuro. Don't know when it was taken but it is one of the nicest shots we have seen of this particular Futuro. Thanks for allowing us to display it here David.
Original Information 100311
The Futuro at Raglan
, New Zealand
is owned by a retired ship's captain who bought it on the spot when his ship berthed one day and he saw the Futuro. The Captain had it located at Whangaparaoa
for several years but on his retirement relocated it to its current home in Raglan. The Futuro is seated on a concrete base though the standard steel support frame is also visible and it appears to be in excellent condition and still in use.
In a post on the Raglan Futuro the blog Gorgeous with Attitude
references an interview with the Captain by Venetia Sherson that was part of the research for the book Baches of Raglan (Venetia Sherson; Andrea Wilkinson; David B Cook; Beryl Fletcher; Waikato Institute of Technology). The book, no longer in print (Amazon
, Google Books
, Better World Books
) was published in 2008 and was the work of the students and lecturers of the Waikato Institute Of Technology
. The Captain is quoted as describing the Futuro as
"... one space. The kitchen is about six inches higher than the lounge area the bed is tucked in behind a screen, out of sight. The toilet and shower are just outside the main area.
and he calls it his "moon house". Not surprisingly the Captain says that children love the Futuro and that (if the parents allow it) he even likes to tell them a "little white lie" and say it actually came from outer space."
As an interesting aside and a comment on both our intelligence and on the problems with making assumptions we actually searched many times and many places for a book titled "Beaches Of Raglan" thinking that "Baches" was a typo. Only after several failed searches did we try with the original spelling and discover that a "bach
" was a holiday or beach home.
The photo below is by fletch128
and displayed under CC 2.0
license. Additional photos can be found by following the links below: