Flying saucer lands at the University of Canberra

20 April 2011: Conservation students will get their first look TODAY at the rare 1960s Futuro building they will help restore.

The distinctive flying saucer style building was a feature of the old Canberra Planetarium, but has been donated to the University by the Tradies Club to ensure continuing public access to it.

The building will be used for teaching in design, architecture and cultural heritage and will be on public display.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker said the building provided an opportunity for the University to combine its education, research and public engagement functions.

“The University of Canberra has expertise in teaching and research in cultural heritage and heritage conservation through its Donald Horne Institute,” Professor Parker said.

“The arrival of the Futuro building enables us to offer a unique practical conservation exercise for our students and staff in conservation. It provides a wonderful case study for our students in architecture, design and planning.

“It also enables us to use our expertise in the heritage field to benefit the wider community by ensuring continued access to an iconic piece of design.

“Plus I believe we are now the only university in the world to have its own flying saucer.”

The University has been assisted in the move by the Finnish Embassy and Manteena.

The prefabricated plastic and fibreglass Futuro buildings were the brainchild of Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in 1968. They could be transported by helicopter in one piece or dismantled into 16 pieces.

Around 100 of them were built before the oil crisis of the 1970s pushed up the price of materials.

  • Students and staff from the University’s cultural heritage program will attend the event and be available for photographs and interviews.

WHAT: Futuro building lands at UC
WHEN: Wednesday 20 April, 10.30am
WHERE: Futuro building (adjacent to buildings 10 and 11)

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