• Short Summary

    The 47th Ideal Home Exhibition, organised by newspaper Daily Mail, opened at London's Olympia today (Monday).

  • Description

    The 47th Ideal Home Exhibition, organised by newspaper Daily Mail, opened at London's Olympia today (Monday). The theme for 1970 is "Flights of Fancy"-symbolised by huge 28-foot (9-metre) wing span decorative birds.

    One of the most outstanding exhibits is the Solar Dome House-a glimpse of futuristic living. Designed by Arthur North, it is a fibreglass structure 40 feet (12 metres) in diameter and 20 feet (6 metres) high. It is a complete house, including garden and pool-with climate adjustable to suit the occupier....from temperate to tropical. It is not the first time that building experiments have been carried out with solar heating-but it is the first time that it has been combined with air conditioning and other factors to build a house of this kind.

    In complete contrast-a masterpiece of woodcarving art: the Czechoslovakian "Bethlehem". It contains 2,000 carved pieces-of which about 400 pieces move by an ingenious, all-wood mechanism. The upper part tells the story of Christ-the lower part depicts the life of ordinary people at the time the model was made in the second half of the 19th Century. It was started by a peasant, Josef Probost, in the village of Trebechovice about 100 miles (160 kilometres) from Prague, and is reputed to have taken him and another carver 40 years to complete. It is 25 feet (7 1/2 metres) by 11 feet (4 metres)-and is reputed to be the finest and largest ever produced anywhere. This is only the second time the model has left Czechoslovakia, and the Czech government has said it will never leave the country again for safety reasons.

    But it is the 70s and ahead that are the main themes of the Exhibition-and one of the stands was dedicated to seating arrangements in the home of the future. Lurashell's chairs featured one which had real live goldfish sealed-in between the layers of perspex.

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