futuro spaceship

Heating for Space Ships

It is a rare day when we are asked to provide heating for space ships.

The space ship in question, and the idea surrounding heating for space ships, is in fact a futuristic construction from the 1970s, designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. The aptly named Futuro House was discovered by its current owner Craig Barnes, in South Africa over 3 decades ago but it has only recently been disassembled, moved to the UK, completely refurbished and reconstructed on the roof of  Central Saint Martins near Kings Cross in London.

Made from insulated GRP segments and mounted on a tubular steel base frame, and complete with drop down staircase for the aliens to come marching down, it is an extraordinary bit of design from any angle and by any measure.

With very limited hidden space and with barely any flat surfaces in the structure the options for providing heating solutions was very limited. Of course with a free hand you could just plug in a standard fan heater, but one look at the inside of the building and you can tell that a plug-in solution is not an option.

Ceiling mounted radiant heaters? Nope, that's not an option either, the walls merge with the ceiling in a continuous curve and these type of heaters would visually stick out a mile.

Convectors? Nope, again, not an option. They are just too square, and besides there is seating round the majority of the inner circumference.

After much deliberation with Craig Barnes, we opted to use a combination of Frico Thermoplus radiant heaters on two of the radial flat walls in the structure and a heated air supply using a Frico CAT fan heater and recirculation plenum mounted in the central under floor void and supplying via floor vents.

Still waiting for the lunar heating enquiries to come in. Watch this space!

Spot the Heater. The uncompromising stylish interior of the Futuro House does not lend itself to easy heating. But there is a heater in the picture. (photo credit: John Sturrock)