Spaceship home is out of this world

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 08:27 08/05/2014

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A novel home in Nelson has attracted astronomical interest at its first open day. Most who turned up yesterday to see the Port Hills spaceship home admitted it was a blast.

Agent Jeremy Matthews said the turnout at the Fifeshire Crescent spaceship open home [complete with inflatable alien], was close to heyday records of the early 2000s, with 20 people seeking a peek within a half hour open home.

"It's a new record for a mid-week open home."

The spaceship home has attracted attention since it appeared on its Port Hills pad in 1974. The family of the owner, who passed away some time ago has decided to sell it, agent Jeremy Matthews said.

The home, used as a bank in the athletes' village at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, has in recent years been operating as guest accommodation. It has a rateable value of $610,000 - although the land value makes up $600,000 of that.

Despite the novelty factor and location on a prime site, Matthews did not think it would be an easy sell. It will go to auction later this month.

"It's a split focus. That's the sizzle out there," he said pointing to the view over The Cut and Tasman Bay.

"And that's the sausage," he said of the fibreglass spaceship.

Many among yesterday's viewers were looking at its potential for relocation to another site.

The Scandinavian-designed Futuro House fibreglass spaceship is designed to be dismantled and can be "carried away in a box", Matthews said.

The concept was created in 1968 by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, initially for use as a ski-cabin or holiday home.

Viewers Barbara and Bob Walker were keen on the capsule as an option for their section in north Nelson. While it was funky, it was possibly past its use-by date Bob said.

"It's a hell of a concept and it's a really neat location but I think it's in the too-hard basket," Bob said.

Brittany Norman said she was "just being nosy".

"The agent said 'sticky beaks turn into hot buyers in a flash', but not me.

"My husband thought it was so cool and maybe we should move it to Marahau."

The retro fibreglass capsule has a similar layout to a yacht, with a small galley kitchen, a central saloon, a large double cabin partitioned off, and a small bathroom. The property also has a separate sleepout.

Brigitti "gitti" Stamm, a tour guide from Germany who was currently looking to settle in the South Island, was bemused by the spaceship.

"I love it - really, I love it. It's hilarious and I've never seen anything like it before."

Grant Parkins, who was checking it out as a potential bach, said it had been painted since he last saw it, 35 years ago. His father built the sleepout in the 1970s.

Matthews said he had fielded inquiries on the property from as far away as Germany. He said selling it was proving to be a real treat for him, as a departure from the norm.

The auction is scheduled for noon on May 21 at Bayleys Real Estate offices on the same day Matthews will be auctioning a slip-damaged 827-square-metre site in Rocks Rd which has a rateable value of $48,000.

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