22 High Street
Port Alfred, South Africa
The Futuro house at 22 High Street was a family residence for many years (at one point, a home to a family with 8 children!) but had fallen into ruin when in 2013 artist, Craig Barnes persuaded the then owners to let him take it on and bring it back to life.
Craig first saw the Futuro house as a kid whilst visiting family in Port Alfred, South Africa in the 1980s. He dreamt of one day owning such a magnificently odd construction, learning more and more about the broader history of Futuros every visit.
Once deconstructed, the Futuro travelled 12,000 miles by sea perched on the top of a container ship for three months. Safely arrived in the UK, Craig delved deep into research about the Futuro and how to go about restoring such a historic piece of 20th century architecture. As well as examining the Matti Suuronen archive held at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, he met with historian and author Marko Home and conservator Sami Supply at the recently restored Futuro 001 on display at WeeGee in Espoo.
Restoration began in earnest early in 2014, in an agricultural barn in Herefordshire. Days and weeks were spent beginning the long journey of repairing the fibreglass exterior of each of the 16 segments. Over 10 months in 2014 the Futuro was transformed from a weary wreck, showing signs of it being a 42 year old building that has sat in the blazing African sun for all its life, into a shiny smooth object, ready to face the next 40 or more years.