Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Futuro House in Canberra

ninaribena left a comment on my post "Reducing ICT greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2020":
Hi Tom, completely off topic ... there is in fact a Futuro dome/pod structure located in Dickson. ...
Yes, more for relevant to my " Prefabricated homes as art", about the MOMA book "Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling". In this Barry Bergdoll and Peter Christensen document the history of prefabrication of homes, inlcuding the Futuro prefabricated house.

It happens that I used to live about 40 metres away from the example of the Futuro home in Canberra. It was part of the Canberra Planetarium and Observatory, which was run by the "Dickson Tradies" club as a community facility, but it closed in early February 2008.

After watching a large silver dome being constructed, with what appeared to be a spaceship next to it, I discovered the big silver dome was a planetarium and the small dome was used as part of the facility. I went to the opening of the planetarium in 1997 and wrote a web page about it, whioch the Shopping Sherpa linked (I guess that is how you found me).
Do you know of anyone with access to the interior of is,...
I guess I must have walked through the dome but don't recall seeing it from the inside. I suggest contacting the Dickson Tradies club to ask them about it. I suspect if you have a good community use for it, they would probably let you use it, or even have it, at a token fee.


Unknown said...

I remember when I was about 13 ( around 1974) , my father Peter Cantor had a pod at our property on the Federal Highway near Sutton. I loved it. I guess that the one mentioned is possibly the same. I would love to see it again if that was at all possible.If it is the same one maybe a few details regarding its history could be added too. Is it for sale

Mark Cantor

Tom Worthington said...

Blogger April said October 13, 2010 9:28 PM:

Unfortunately, according to the report "Hope remains for new observatory" (The Chronicle, 5 October 2010), the former Canberra Planetarium and Observatory was damaged by fire on 27b September 2010. It is not clear if the Futuro building was damaged. Much of the astronomical equipment had already been relocated from the complex and so is safe.

It is not clear when, or if, the Planetarium and Observatory Association of Canberra will be able to find a new location. In my view POAC should look to new computer technology, which could make such a facility lower cost and more readily accessible to the community.

Tom Worthington said...

The Futuro prefabricated house which was part of the part of the Canberra Planetarium and Observatory has been moved to the University of Canberra and is to be restored by conservation students.