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The Space Ship Building in Melbourne Street

There was some discussion on ABC Radio just recently about the ‘flying saucer’ building that was in Melbourne Street North Adelaide around the 70s and 80s.

It was called ‘Futuro’ and was owned by Derek Jolly, entrepreneur and “larger than life” character who was responsible for much of the development of Melbourne Street in the early 70’s. The building caused something of a stir among local residents at the time who felt it did not fit with the character of the area. (I think I see their point!)

The Futuro site was eventually purchased for the construction of an apartment building. As a result the Futuro was then relocated to Provost Street.

Futuro House in the car park behind Deccas Restaurant in Melbourne Street

Futuro House in the car park behind Deccas Restaurant in Melbourne Street

Ed Briedis, the Chairman of The North Adelaide Society sent a photo to the ABC, of the ‘Futuro’ when it was in the carpark behind Deccas Restaurant.

Some of our readers remembered the space ship building quite well while others started to doubt that it ever existed because it was such an unusual building. One poster recalled; “Remember it well because I was a little girl and my father drove me past one day and told me that it was a real spaceship. I could hardly wait to go to school the next day to share this amazing news with my friends … (remember when you did actually have to WAIT to tell people things?! We did have a phone, but definitely off-limits to the kids)”

Another commented; “Those were the days…people like Derek had a real sense of adventure….most of the developments these days are designed to keep the banks happy in order to get approvals…and as a conseqence…boring….”

And still another; “Remember it well and even went inside. My mum used to work at the Magic Flute and Derek Jolly was a good friend of the owner. He would often come around to the kitchen door from the car park to see if there were any leftovers to take to the flying saucer”!

Dave Wally, writing on his regular blog, Weekend Notes commented; The Futuro house was made in the 1960’s and early 1970’s and was a round prefabricated house originally designed as a ski cabin by a Finnish man. It was quite popular originally although ultimately only less than 100 were made.

It certainly polarised opinion at the time, but after Derek Jolley’s death the house was sold and has now “flown” to a remote location at Deep Creek, somewhere in the Cape Jervis area.

Former Adelaide radio personality John Kenneally stumbled on the Futuro space ship just recently while hiking the Heysen trail. It’s now located at Blowhole Creek on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Futuro House in its present location

Futuro House in its present location

It’s good to know that this little piece of Adelaide’s recent past has survived and has a new home.


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17 Responses to The Space Ship Building in Melbourne Street

  1. Pete March 3, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    Please re-visit this house on a current affair show. It might be the way of “affordable housings” ??


  2. Amanda June 5, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

    Hi there,

    I am part of a collection of traders currently collecting memories and photographs of Melbourne Street North Adelaide – we believe it’s future is as important as it’s past and are fascinated in the history of the area and the changes the street has seen.

    Just this week we’ve seen a collection of photographs including the ice sculpture by Pro Hart, Derek Jolly’s “Futuro” Space Ship (now sitting on the Heysen Trail) and a family farming property on the location where our café now sits. (see images attached).

    We’d love to hear from any readers who have memories to share to Amanda and Dan, E for Ethel,, Shop 7, 116 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide.

    Thanks in advance,


    Amanda Matulick + Daniel Harland
    E for Ethel – Gift Shop and Cafe
    116 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, SA, 5006
    08 8367 0312
    Weds to Sat – 9am – 5pm
    Sun + Mon – 10am – 4pm
    Tues – Closed

    • Jorma Soininen June 16, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

      Freddy Hampton a local Adelaide singer lived in for a while and would use therecording studio across the road .
      University of canberra have a restored one which they use for meetings.

      • Amanda Mills (Baker) September 23, 2023 at 8:53 am #

        My mum was a friend of Freddy Hampton

    • Coralie Chrisafopoulos September 22, 2021 at 2:23 pm #

      I have messaged you on Facebook Messenger ??

  3. Mike November 13, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    I saw one in Moncton, NB, Canada in the early 1970s. It was on a corner lot and was being used
    as a restaurant

    • Werner Watzdorf January 6, 2022 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Mike. I just came across your post as my wife and I are staying at Naiko in Deep Creek and have this thing across from us. We were reading up on it’s history and your comment struck me mike a lightening bolt. I was living in Moncton age 5 – 10 between 1966 and 1971 and remember this thing. My parents had no sense of humour so we never went to see what it was but I remember seeing it from the car window many times driving by. Thanks for the memories. Werner

  4. Andrew Dunstan September 24, 2016 at 5:57 am #

    I remember this well. I knew Derek Jolly and loved Deccas. Glad to see the Futuro is still alive and well.

  5. Brendan February 19, 2017 at 11:04 pm #

    Love the Future and remember Melbourne Street’s well. Surprisingly, one night I saw it was open and it was vacant, with no power connected. All the same I had a good look around and think it an ingenious design, albeit a pity it wasn’t bigger so as to house more people. Believe you me, when the winds hit category 5 up here in Nth Qld’s cyclone season, I can think of no greater an aerodynamic shape that the Future. Perhaps bunkered down into a hillside, it’d be both strong and safe. A structure many decades in advance that surely could one way or another be revisited in today’s demanding world. Made of strong insulated compounds it’d surely be an economic marvel, that clearly stands the test of longevity. Would love to get my hands on a couple myself. Pity. 🙁

  6. Andy January 21, 2018 at 9:10 pm #

    The “space ship” house, and the Lord Melbourne hotel up the road a bit. Those were the days.

    • Christopher Arnold February 28, 2024 at 6:00 pm #

      I was the newspaper boy , based at the Lord Melbourne hotel 1967. In fact, i had the whole street to do Dorothy Dowling Travel, Decas and all the shops and businesses. I was allowed to finish off my round at the Old Lion, pushing my way through to the front bar etc. 6,o,clock closing of course. I loved this round and the original Lord Melbourne I had my seat on the front terracotta porch. The ladies lounge always bought a few papers. I was 12 years old. I think it was a 150 paper round. Hotel bulldozed in 1970. Very sad.

  7. Mike Micanopy June 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm #

    You mean it wasn’t a real spaceship?

    Seriously though, we lived just around the corner in Provost St from 66 to 68 and I do remember the UFO. I think it was initially in a different spot form the one pictured; perhaps just temporarily. I also remember the first new building going up in Lower North Adelaide, on the east side of Melbourne St. It was a Derek Jolly establishment (Decca’s?). Until then, Melbourne St was a kind of divey, ramshackle strip with fish and chip shops and milk bars and dilapidated old houses. Hard to imagine now ……

  8. Vicki July 15, 2020 at 2:24 pm #

    I remember this from when I used to go to the Old Lion back in the 70s.

  9. Jamie Ridings September 26, 2020 at 6:59 pm #

    While hiking with a mate on the south coast I told him ‘ I saw a spaceship land over here years ago.. he laughed , thinking I was joking. Then we rounded the bluff and there it was… he freaked out.! For a moment there he thought it was real. It is real it just doesn’t fly!!!!!

  10. Daina August 21, 2022 at 10:44 am #

    I was taken there when it was in Melbourne Street, with friends, by the owner of “La Provencale”, Mike Strautmanis, before the Creole Room opened, in North Adelaide. He must have been the guardian of the keys. It is a vivid memory.

  11. Barbara Mclean August 28, 2023 at 2:39 pm #

    How wonderful to find this site, Derek Jolly met us at the airport with Press and TV reporters l think it was 1969 or soon after. My sheepskin clothing company was BARBIE AND MR SING, alias John Singer who tendered the books and eventually cooked them. Singer flew the Cessna 4 seater, and on board were our guests Photographer Colin Beard and Model Camilla Rowntree. We had flown over as Derek asked to interview me live to air. The Spaceship was a surprise and Derek a delight.
    After the spectacular and unforgettable ballet staring Helpman, Fontaine and Rudolph Nureyev
    We dined in what must have been the best restaurant in town as Rudolph with the other ballet dancers were also there.
    It’s great to see that the Spaceship is preserved for too many iconic items have been abandoned or destroyed. I love Adelaide and its quirky differences.


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