The Futuro House was conceived by Matti Suuronen in 1968 as a "portable" ski chalet. It is an iconic piece of architecture and this site is devoted to documenting the history of the Futuro and the current status and whereabouts of the remaining examples.
Long time contributor to these pages Yves Buysse recently sent us links to the photos below (thanks Yves).
The photos are a part of the collection of the Keitele Municipal Library (and freely available for use with appropriate credit) and show this Futuro in 1977 when it was located on Matti Suuronen's property.
The third photo shows Matti Suuronen and members of his family; The photo's description includes this:
"... Architect Matti Suuronen (left), the designer and owner of the Futuro house, and his family: Meri 14 years old, Mrs. Sirkku, Mrs. Hilkka Hiidenkari, Sami 10 years old. and Sari 16v."
Also interesting is this (also a part of the photo's description):
"The municipality of Keitele has rented a building on the shores of Vuonamonlahti for the building. The intention is that the house can accommodate local representatives and guests of industrial plants."
We had not heard this previously; appears that Suuronen might have been able to generate a little revenue renting out the Futuro!
The first photo was taken by Veikko Tabell and the other two were shot by Vellamo Paananen. The originals can be found here, here and here.
The photograph below was posted to Instagram by @futurohouseweegee on 080318 and described as being a "privately owned Futuro House" photographed in Konnevesi, Finland in 1977. We had not heard of a Futuro located in Konnevesi before and the location looked unfamiliar to us so we added Konnevesi to the "Lost Souls" page.
Shortly after that Marko Home, Futuro historian and co-editor of the book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday, contacted us and let us know the photo was in fact a photo of this Futuro taken at Matti Suuronen's summer house in Keitele; the Futuro was moved there in 1977 from its original location on Jaakko Hiidenkari's property in Turenki. It was subsequently moved into storage at Metsakylä Manor in Hattula in 1980 when the local administration refused to renew the Futuro's temporary building permit.
Coincidentally we recently came across this photo posted to Instagram by technicolor_totenkompf which shows a different, though similar, view of the Futuro during the exhibition.
We came across this photo on Instagram recently. The photo was posted by virginiaz and among its hashtags was #mvrdv and #publicartdepot. Though not identified specifically as such based on the hashtags it appears to show a rather cool model/mock-up of this Futuros planned new home on the roof of the "Art Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen" which is currently under construction and planned to open in 2019.
Back in 2014 the very cool looking "Art Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen" was projected for completion sometime in 2017. According to a 032017 news article on the Chartered Institute Of Building Global Constrution Review website work has just recently begun on the project. Currently the building is projected to "top out" in 2018 and open to the public in 2019. This Futuro will have a new home on the roof of this building.
The two videos below from the website yle.fi have been around a long time but until recently we had not noticed that there was an option to embed them so we had not included them here assuming that would impinge on copyright. Having found an option to get embedding code it is clear that the videos can be shared and so we chose to add them here.
That said so far we have not been able to get the actual embed code from yle.fi to work so for now we have included archived copies of the footage which we will replace with true embedded versions when we can figure out how to get the code to work. There is no sound with these videos (well actually there is static so I suggest you turn your sound off or down low to play them).
The videos both hail from the early days of Futuro with the first dated 032968 and the second 091068.
In the first video we see what we believe is this Futuro still under construction at the Polykem plant (it could possibly be a later prototype as the video does not specify but based on the video's date it seems likely to us that it is indeed Futuro #000).
The second video is footage of this Futuro when it was located on the property of Jaakko Hiidenkari in Turenki.
And, while we are "on a roll" adding old videos, another interesting vintage video of this Futuro during its time in Turenki can be found in the AP Archive. In this case there are no options to embed/share without a cost so you will have to check this video out here.
Although this Futuro was acquired by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen back in 2007 and restored starting in 2009 the museum recently (022416) posted the video below to Youtube. The video includes a little general Futuro historical information along with some great footage of the process of assembling a Futuro.
Despite the restoration taking place several years ago we do not recall seeing this footage previously (which of course does not mean it was not out there; regular readers of this site will be aware of our somewhat suspect memory).
We recently added the postcard below to our collection of "Things Futuro". While the text on the back of the postcard does not identify the location of the Futuro based on other photographs we are of the opinion that it depicts this Futuro during its time in Turenki, Finland during the 1970's.
As previously mentioned Futuro #000 was displayed 013198-042698 as a part of the "68 - Design & Popular Culture Between Consumerism & Conflict" exhibition at the KunstmuseumDüsseldorf, Germany (Catalog).
This week Stephan Hacker was kind enough to send us the photos below which were taken at the exhibition. The quality is a little grainy (Stephan tells us he had only a very small camera in those days) but it is still very interesting to see photos from the exhibition. Our thanks to Stephan for sharing them.
The final photo is testament to the fact that the chair/bed units in the Futuro were more comfortable than they might appear at first; Stephan was clearly able to relax in one!
It seems this Futuro is destined to get a new home. Rotterdam based architecture and urban design practice MVRDV has been contracted by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the De Verre Bergen Foundation and the City of Rotterdam to construct the Collection Building which is described on the MVRDV website as being a:
"15.000m2 art depot with restoration facilities, exhibition spaces, offices, logistics, bar, restaurant, sculpture garden and private collectors facilities."
Planned for completion in 2017 the roof will feature:
"a restaurant, sculpture garden and exhibition space ... and will be the new home for the Futuro, the ufo-shaped house of Finish architect Matti Suuronen."
The three images below, displayed courtesy of MVRDV, show CAD impressions of the building itself (which looks very cool), the rooftop featuring the Futuro and a plan view which also includes a representation of the Futuro. Going to be interesting at some point to follow the relocation of the Futuro to the rooftop - presumably that will be achieved either by means of the construction cranes which will no doubt be on the site or by helicopter but either way we imagine that process will be interesting.
The video below is by "The Unknown Cameraman" - the footage appears to be a composite of footage from Vernissage TV showing this Futuro, the Greenwich Futuro and the Willingboro Futuro. The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen footage starts at 01:30. At one point in the commentary the video indicates the footage has been taken at various points in New Jersey - clearly the Vermissage TV footage was not shot in New Jersey.
The first prototype Futuro, #000, was manufactured at the Polykem plant in 1968. The Futuro has spent time in several locations and has also been displayed at several exhibitions over the years. The history of the unit is documented in photos here. Please note that several of the images displayed below are low quality low res photos from our copy of "Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday". Our intention is to illustrate the history of Futuro #000 and not to provide copyright infringing images to be copied and reproduced elsewhere so please respect the author's rights and if you would like to use the book's content purchase your own copy. Thanks!
These first two photos below show the #000 at the Polykem plant and are from the above referenced book.
Post manufacture Futuro #000 was initially located on Jaakko Hiidenkari's property in Turenki. The image below shows the Futuro in Turenki in August 1969 and is displayed courtesy of G. Kock of filatelia.fi.
Beginning in 1990 with the installation "The Eagle Has Landed - Unidentified Flying Object - An Exhibition About UFOs" at the RADAR exhibition in Kotka, Finland (062890-090290) Futuro #000 appeared at a number of exhibitions.
The prototype Futuro eventually ended up in the collection of the Utrecht Centraal Museum in the Netherlands where it appeared in several exhibitions and also served as office space for a while. It first appeared in an exhibition titled Finnish Design Of The 1960's that ran 053197-070697.
From August 1998 for about a year the Futuro served as office space for the Centraal Museum.
This photo below shows the Futuro around the end of 2002 when it was displayed as part of the Ideal Living exhibition at the Centraal Museum. The photo is courtesy of the website designartnews (Dutch | Google translation to English here).
Futuro #000 then remained with the Centraal Museum for several more years. In late 2008 it was still located in a courtyard there as illustrated by these excellent shots taken 111608 by Klaas5.
The prototype Futuro was ultimately acquired by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and underwent extensive restoration; a least part of that work was undertaken by the company Poly Products and the photo below is courtesy of their website.
The video below is by RTV Rijnmond and shows footage of the Futuro nearing the completion of the restoration project.
The first use of Futuro #000 by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen was as the main feature of "Futuro - Constructing Utopia", an exhibition that ran in the museum's Bodon gallery from 052111 to 100911. An excellent set of photos of the Futuro at that exhibition by Happy Famous Artists can be found below in the "original" section of this page.
The two videos below by Gair Dunlop give us a look at both the exhibition and the interior of the Futuro.
In 2012 the Futuro featured in another exhibition in Rotterdam, this time the exhibition "Ballads" by Sarkis Zabunyan. The two photos below are by Ernst Moritz and are featured in a Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen press release.
A Google search for images of "Ballads" will return many other images. The three below are ones we particularly like; they are displayed with the permission of the photographers. From top to bottom they are:
There are also quite a few videos out there of the "Ballads" exhibition though they generally only show the Futuro in passing. A couple are shown below but a Google Search will return more. The first is by Jos Burger (Futuro at around 0:07) and the second is by anykoen (Futuro at around 1:14).
Original Information 091011
The long and intriguing history of the Futuro House all began with this Futuro, #000. In 1965 Dr. Jaakko Hiidenkari asked Matti Suuronen, with whom he attended school, to design a ski-cabin. Much of the early history of the Futuro is documented in detail in the book "Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday" edited by Marko Home and Mika Taanila. In the book we learn that the ski cabin was to be:
"quick to heat and easy to construct in rough terrain."
A construction contract was ultimately awarded to Oy Polykem Ab and in March 1968 the first Futuro was revealed to the press by Polykem at their Hiekkaharju, Finland plant. The Futuro, though it had not yet been given that name, was then moved to a ski slope on the property of Jaakko Hiidenkari in Turenki. It was not until unit #002 (now located in Matsalu, Estonia), appeared at the Finnexpo Fair in London, England in October 1968 that the Futuro actually became the Futuro.
In the mid 1970's Futuro #000 was moved from Hiidenkari's property in Turenki to Matti Suuronen's holiday home in Keitele. It remained there for several years before being put into storage on the Metsänkylä estate near Hämeenlinna.
The prototype Futuro eventually ended up in the collection of the Utrecht Centraal Museum in the Netherlands. This might very well not have come about had it not been for the emergence of the Futuro as an art object as well as an architectural icon in the early 1990's; a process largely catalyzed by the use of Futuro #000 by Jussi Kivi (Finnish Wikipedia page | Google translation to English here) as the focal point of an installation titled "The Eagle Has Landed - Unidentified Flying Object - An Exhibition About UFOs" at the RADAR exhibition in Kotka, Finland (062890-090290) and perhaps cemented by the use of the same Futuro as part of the Skop exhibition at the Wiener Secession that ran from 051096 through 070796 in Vienna, Austria.
The Skop exhibition was the work of German artist Carsten Höller who had also been an exhibitor at RADAR and it is thought that his use of the Futuro for Skop was at least in part due to the favorable impression #000 made on him at RADAR.
Holler's exhibition travelled to other cities but the Futuro remained in storage in Vienna. There later followed a request from the Centraal Museum to the Weiner Secession for loan of the Futuro to be a part of an exhibition featuring 1960's Finnish design. Ultimately instead of a loan the Futuro was transferred to the Centraal Museum and became a part of that institutions collection.
The Futuro was first exhibited by the Centraal Museum between 053197 and 070697 as a part of the planned exhibition of Finnish design of the 1960's. Over the next several years Futuro #000 appeared as a part of various exhibitions and served sundry other roles including:
Being displayed 013198-042698 as a part of the "68 - Design & Popular Culture Between Consumerism & Conflict" exhibition at the KunstmuseumDüsseldorf, Germany (See Catalogue here)
Being used as office space Aug 1998 to July 1999. During this period #000 was located in a courtyard at the Centraal Museum. Among other uses during this period it served as office space for staff associated with the "Panorama 2000" exhibition (060599-100399) in Utrecht
Being displayed as a feature of the Ideal Living exhibition at the Centraal Museum at the end of 2003. Additional information can be found here (Dutch | Google translation to English here)
The prototype Futuro was eventually acquired by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands. A press release by the museum dated 051711 announces the acquisition. The press release indicates that the Futuro had been the focus of a two year long restoration process but does not indicate the exact timing of the transfer from the Centraal Museum.
The restoration project was conducted with the help of Poly Products. On the company website we read that:
"On Saturday 28 May the Futuro, which was restored by Poly Products, was presented as a new addition to the collection of the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam."
Conservator of modern and contemporary art Lydia Beerkens confirms the involvement of Poly Products in an abstract that can be found online here. The abstract gives us a look into the intricacies of the restoration project. We also learn that as a result of the "prototype" status of #000 the museum changed their plans from outdoor placement and regular loans to finding a semi permanent space and indoor exhibition only.
A Huffington Post article "Icon of 1960s Design: Matti Suuronen's Futuro House" dated 071711 suggests that the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen acquired the Futuro in 2007. However, we know that it was still physically located at the Centraal Museum at least towards late 2008 based on multiple documents and photos.
Of course that does not preclude the transfer of ownership taking place in 2007; it may just have been that the physical move took place later. The same article is included in issue #18 of VernissageTV Magazine along with some excellent photos; the article is on pages 61-73. The magazine is accessible online here or you can download a pdf file here.
Included among the photographs in the Magazine is the interesting photo at left that shows an identification plate that records "oy Polykem ab" as the manufacturer's name.
In 2012 the Futuro featured in another exhibition in Rotterdam, this time the exhibition "Ballads" by Sarkis Zabunyan. A Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen press release announced that "Ballads" would run from 060212 to 093012 at Submarine Wharf in Rotterdam's docklands. The press release introduces the exhibition by telling us:
"The Submarine Wharf in Rotterdam's docklands is currently undergoing a true transformation. The construction of the various monumental sculptures that make up Sarkis' installation "Ballads", commissioned by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Port of Rotterdam, is well under way. They include an 18-metre bell tower and a 16-meter lampshade in which a spotlight rises and falls to the rhythm of the artist's breathing."
and goes on to tell us about the Futuro's role in the exhibition:
"The Futuro, a futuristic holiday home, has come to land in the Submarine Wharf, forming an auditorium for Sarkis' videos about water: experiments in form and color."
Perhaps the most unique feature of "Ballads" was that visitors to the exhibition actually rode bicycles around the exhibits.
A second museum press release provides some additional details along with some nice photos of the exhibition that ended its run 093012. The Futuro remains in the collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and we await with interest it's next public appearance.
The video below is narrated by Jonieke van Es, the curator of the exhibition "Futuro - Constructing Utopia"; it includes great footage of the Futuro along with a historical commentary.
This wonderful set of photos show the restored Futuro prototype at the "Futuro - Constructing Utopia" exhibition. The photos, shot 052811, are by Happy Famous Artists and are displayed here under CC 2.0.