Nowadays, our gaze is set on outer space. Modern times feel eerily similar to the thrill of the days during the 20th-century Space Race. While the goals of the Space Race change over time, our interest in the starry sky remains. On earth, we watch films like The Jetsons and marvel at Elon Musk’s Starlink, if only because it looks like a moving constellation, just to feel closer to Outer Space. Today, artist Craig Barnes restored a saucer-shaped structure, designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the late 1960s, calling it Futuro House in his ode to the cosmos.
Landed in Somerset’s Marston Park for guests to rent out, stay the night, and pretend they’ve landed on Mars, the Futuro House is a tiny home can accommodate up to four people and features an array of earthly amenities. Barnes happened upon one of Suuronen’s 68 saucer-shaped structures while out in South Africa, bringing it back to the UK, where he began restoration work.
Easily transportable, Barnes describes how he managed to bring Futuro House to Somerset, “Some workers were knocking down a building nearby and we thought perhaps they were going to tear it down too. It was a wreck, there was no front door left, the windows were smashed in, but they let us in. It was horrible and grotty, but we found out who owned it. On an impulse while on top of Table Mountain, we agreed to buy it. So we bought it and shipped it home.”
Sparing Suuronen’s retrofitted relic from a future spent in obsolescence, Barnes restored Futuro House into a sparkling ski lodge, allowing guests to stay the night for £400–£1,200 ( around $550–$1,412) per night, a rent scale depending on the number of adults staying inside the ship. Inside and outside the saucer, guests can enjoy plenty of onboard amenities, like private bathrooms, fresh linen, and towels, hot water, changeable mood lighting, midrange studio monitor speakers, food services, options for coffee and tea, as well as an outdoor fire pit where guests can sit around and recline into the night. Going on to note his thrill over his own interpretation of today’s Space Race, Barnes says,
“It was always important to me that wherever it goes, it functions as a space to live and experience – an inspiring place that everyone can see. I never wanted this to be something that you cannot touch. I believe in the power of art and architecture and how it affects us. We have never opened [the house] up as a rental before; we hadn’t found the right home for it. At Marston Park, they want to make unique experiences and there is a realm for artworks you can stay in and people are interested in that. It is the fulfillment of a longstanding dream to offer this womb-like structure for people to stay in and be in this otherworldly space.”
Designers: Chris Barnes x Matti Suuronen
Stationed beside a quiet lake amongst the trees of Somerset’s Marston Park, Futuro House appears as a UFO landed for a pitstop.
Inside, the 60s space themes continue with spaceship seating arrangements and oval-shaped windows that wrap the entire circumference of the saucer.
Tulip kitchen seats hearken back to the 60s when the Space Race reached a peak.
While there is only one main sleeping area, four people can stay the night.
Come dark, the spaceship glows into a golden lantern.
While on a midnight stroll in the park, onlookers could even mistake Futuro House for a real UFO.
Stationed against orange night skies, guests can pretend they’ve landed on Mars.