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    Posted April 7, 2011 by
    Virginia Beach, Virginia

    U.F.O’s from the 70’s Resurface


    U.F.O’s from the 70’s Resurface


    -Phil Caruana

             VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. For years high school aged kids have searched for a rumored alien space craft; only few have found it. Damaged and forgotten, this large brown craft somberly rests with its windows busted in, glass littering the floor, and graffitied by unwanted visitors. Hundreds of cars drive down Indian River road every day, not knowing this circular craft 11 feet high and 26 feet across, lies at the end of a private driveway. The flying saucer stays on private property, locked behind an iron gate with old brick walls, and invisible from the roadside. From the street a no trespassing sign is clearly visible. However, that hasn’t stopped some adolescents from finding this retro craft.

             Matti Suuronen, a finish architect designed this structure to be an affordable home that looked like a “flying saucer.” Suuronen only produced twenty of these homes in Finland, but manufacturing rights were sold to an estimated ten other countries, which produced an unknown quantity of these homes, dubbed “Futuro homes”.

             Richard Pisani of Illinois is a leading authority of these crafts. Pisani speculates that at one point there were over 200 Futuro’s in existence, and since January of 2004 Pisani has made it his mission to find and document every one of these unique homes as he can. The Virginia Beach futuro was unknown to Pisani until recently.

             Seven years ago futuro-house.net was founded by Pisani as a tool to document the Futuro homes he came across. The attention Mr. Pisani has received due to the popularity of both his Web site and his personal Futuro has caught him off guard.

             “Yes, sometimes I am a little surprised. I just finalized a shoot date with MTV cribs.” Mr. Pisani said. “They will be out to shot May 1st. No idea when it will air yet.”

             Pisani caught his first sight of a Futuro over twenty years ago, in Illinois. “I saw it just riding around. Not knowing at the time what it was,” Mr. Pisani said, “I thought it would make a cool prop in some sort of B movie sci-fi type of thing.”

             Over the years Pisani often visited the Futuro house, occasionally bringing friends. It was in 1997 that the owner called and accepted Mr. Pisani’s offer to purchase the home. Five months after the phone call, a crane lifted the Futuro home and transported it on a lo-boy semi trailer.      “This was doable for me because we only had to transport it 7 miles,” Said Pisani. The semi truck dropped off the Futuro in Pisani’s backyard in nearby Danvers, Ill., where the craft was restored and turned into a media room.

             “Turning it into a media room was not hard at all it is a very open floor plan. It’s Roomy enough for 10 people or so,” Mr. Pisani said, “You would restore and maintain this like a boat, both having a fiberglass exterior.”

             Originally, Futuro homes were laid out with a fireplace located in the center of the circular house, six plastic bed-chair combinations, one bathroom and a kitchenette to complete the functionality of this home. To keep uniform with the space craft theme, Futuro homes are equipped with a hatch front door in lieu of a traditional rectangle front door, and round windows circle around the structure.

             In Virginia Beach, the hatch door remains closed, and what is left of the windows remains shattered on the ground. The owners of the Virginia Beach Futuro could not be reached for this article, which leaves the question of what will become of this Futuro in the time to come.

    Photo: Richard Pisani’s personal Futuro, designed by Matti Suuronen in 1968.Pisani uses it as a Media room.

    Photo taken by: Richard Pisani

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