The Futuro House

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.





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Location Information

Futuro Dombai - Michael Ivantsov - 051310



Info, History, Photos


Update 030919

This video was published to Youtube 020219 by MrSemensemenych. It features some great shots of this Futuro, both exterior and interior, as well as some nice aerial footage showing the location of the Futuro relative to other structues and the landscape around it.


Update 112818

It is always nice to get a recent look at a Futuro. These great shots of this Futuro were captured by djigstar on 092318.

Dombai Futuro - djigstar [aka Alan Afferist] - 092318 - 1

Dombai Futuro - djigstar [aka Alan Afferist] - 092318 - 2

Dombai Futuro - djigstar [aka Alan Afferist] - 092318 - 3

Update 032517

Came across this unusual photo on Instagram the other day; the photo is by Kirill Grekov and was posted to Instagram 032517.

Never seen a view of this Futuro that looks remotely like this; looking at the aerial imagery in Google Maps and Google Earth there were some buildings close to the Futuro at the old location but none of the photos suggest this location so we are assuming this is a photo shot at the new location a little further up the mountain 032517.

Dombai Futuro - Kirill Grekov - 032517

Update 030417

This small deck of playing cards (approximately 3½" x 2¼" in size) features photos of this Futuro on the box, the ten of spades and the ten of diamonds. There is no indication of the date of manufacture but both the box and the cards are in almost mint condition and it seems likely this is a contemporary tourist souvenir.

Playing Card Deck - Dombai Futuro - Ten Of Spades

Playing Card Deck - Dombai Futuro - Ten Of Diamonds

Playing Card Deck - Dombai Futuro - Box

Update 020417

Recently we added a couple of items to our collection of "Things Futuro" that feature this Futuro.

This lapel pin that features a skier with the Futuro in the background is 2" in diameter. We do not know if the item is contemporary or from some time in the past.

Dombai Ski Pin

This small wallet calendar is for the year 2000 though there is no indication as to whether the photo featured on the front is from 2000 or some earlier date.

2000 Wallet Calendar Featuring Dombai Futuro - Photo

2000 Wallet Calendar Featuring Dombai Futuro - Calendar

Update 010717

Dmitry Yakubovskiy posted the two photos below to Instagram which show the Futuro at its new location a little further up the mountain. Looking at the photos this location appears to be flatter than the previous location. Dmitry's original images can be found on Instagram here and here.

Dombai Futuro - Jan 2017 - Dmitry Yakubovskiy - 1

Dombai Futuro - Jan 2017 - Dmitry Yakubovskiy - 2

Links to the two videos below, which also show the Futuro in its new location, were posted to our Facebook Page yesterday; thanks for the "heads up" Yves. The first, from Russian TV station Архыз 24, includes footage of the Futuro being moved as well as both exterior and interior footage of the Futuro at the new location. The second, a snowboarding video, shows the Futuro in passing at 2:52 (follow this link to go right to that point in the video on Youtube).



Update 122416

We recently came across the video below that was posted to Instagram 103016 which shows this Futuro being moved to a slightly different location.

According to an article on the website stav.aif.ru the Futuro was being moved 250 meters further up the mountain. The move was aimed at making the Futuro more accessible to visitors according to Erol Aybahanov, mayor of the village of Dombai.

The method of transport was a first, at least as far as we know, but given the location not at all surprising. As can be seen in the video the Futuro was dragged across the snow and ice by a heavy excavator. Though it is not clear in the video presumably there were "skids" of some type installed under the legs to facilitate moving the unit in this way.

A post shared by @dombaielbrus on


Update 120416

We purchased this 3" by 2" plastic refrigerator magnet recently. It carries a photo of this Futuro. There is no indication of date of production on the object.

Dombai Futuro - Plastic Refrigerator Magnet - Date Unknown

Update 111216

The photos below are of a print that combines photos of this Futuro and a skiing scene into a single photo. The text on the rear (according to Google Translate) identifies the Futuro as a "tourist hut" and places it "In the mountains of Karachay-Cherkessia". The copyright line dates to 1983. It is unclear if this is the date of the original photo(s), the date of production of the combined print or both.

Given the presence of this printing on the back it seems likely to us that this was produced as a souvenir item. It could probably have been used as a postcard though we do not believed it was designed as such given the shape of the print and the absence of the usual printing seen on the reverse of a postcard for address, message and postage stamp placement.

Vintage Photo - Dombai Futuro - 1978 - Front

Vintage Photo - Dombai Futuro - 1978 - Back

Update 101516

This week we added a nice photo set to our collection of "Things Futuro". The set is undated but was likely manufactured within the last few years (and it is possibly still in production; our Russian contact purchased it directly from the manufacturer). It includes a cover/folder and 12 individual cards. This Futuro is featured on the cover and one of the cards.

1983 Dombai Photo Card Set - Front

1983 Dombai Photo Card Set - Futuro Card - Front

Update 092416

There seem to be more collectibles and souvenirs, both vintage and contemporary, featuring this Futuro than any other Futuro, at least based on the research we have done while assembling our collection of "Things Futuro". This lapel pin is one such item.

Presumably manufactured as a tourist souvenir this lapel pin is small (only 1.05 inches by 0.65 inches) and light. The pin features a Futuro and the text:

ДОМБАИ - ТУРИСТСКАЯ ИЗБА

which, according to Google, translates to "Dombai - Tourist Hut".

Dombai Pin

Update 082016

The Dombai Futuro more so than any other Futuro appears on all sorts of collectibles and memorabilia. This week we were able to add several new items to our collection of "Things Futuro".

First up is this nice postcard, the card is dated 2001 on the back though there is no way to know when the actual photograph dates from.

2001 Dombai Futuro Postcard - Front

2001 Dombai Futuro Postcard - Back

Then there is this photo/tourist booklet dating from 1983. This Futuro features in one of the included photos.

1983 Photo Booklet - Dombai - Futuro

1983 Photo Booklet - Dombai - Cover

Finally we have a wallet/pocket calendar that dates from 2009.

2009 Wallet Calendar Featuring Dombai Futuro - Photo

2009 Wallet Calendar Featuring Dombai Futuro - Calendar

Update 080616

Вокруг Света or "Around The World" is Russia's oldest popular science and regional studies journal and, with a couple of breaks (1918-1927 & 1941-1945) has been published continuously since 1861. The April 1985 issue, #2535, featured this Futuro on the cover.

Russian Magazine Around The Wprld Issue 2535 April 1985

A copy of the magazine in .pdf format can be downloaded here.

There is little mention of the Futuro inside the magazine but what there is, a description of the cover in the contents section, is very interesting.

Len sent us a rough translation of the part of the contents section (page 4) that relates to the Futuro. It reads as follows:

"On the cover: Soviet Union. The main Caucasian ridge. Dombai glade, which is also called "clearing climbers". It is at the junction of three valleys, surrounded by peaks Belalakaya, Sofrudju and others. The slopes of the mountains the glaciers comes down ... Here is the station control and rescue service. Experienced rescuers is always ready to help those who are in distress in the mountains. Photo by our reader A. Chuprakova"

It is of course the mention of the use of the Futuro as a search and rescue station that is most interesting as we have never heard mention of the Futuro serving in this role previously and to date cannot confirm whether this was actually the case or not.

Thanks so much for the translation Len

Update 060416

Yves Buysse recently sent us links to a couple of rather cool 360° photos of the Dombai Futuro; you can rotate through 360°, zoom and so on (thanks Yves).

The first by Alexey Abrazumov, uses Google Photo Sphere and can be found here. The second is by Alexander and can be found on 1panorama.ru.

We personally think the end result is far better in the second but a quick look at the "how to" on 1panorama.ru suggests that creating that end result is quite complex. Google Photo Sphere looks like it is probably a much simpler and accessible process with the "tech" doing most of the work.

Dombai Futuro Panorama - Alexey Abrazumov - Google Photo Sphere

Dombai Futuro Panorama - Alexander - 1panorama.com

Update 012316

The photos below depict a print we added to our collection of "Things Futuro"" this past week that combines photos of this Futuro and a "ski outing" scene into a single photo. On the rear there is Russian text and also a notation in English that reads:

Dombai - The Tourist Cottage - Ski Outing

The reverse also carries a copyright line that dates to 1983. It is unclear if this is the date of the original photo(s), the date of production of the combined print or both.

Given the presence of printing on the back it seems likely this was produced as a souvenir item. It could probably have been used as a postcard though we do not believe it was designed as such given a slightly less "hardy" print medium than a standard postcard, the shape of the print and the absence of the usual printing seen on the reverse of a postcard for address, message and postage stamp placement.

Vintage Photo - Dombai Futuro - 1983 - Front

Vintage Photo - Dombai Futuro - 1983 - Back

Update 041915

Bing Maps now has updated satellite imagery which clearly shows the Futuro. We have slightly edited the lat/long for this Futuro based on this new imagery which proved that the previous lat/long was slightly off. Google Maps still does not have imagery which shows the Futuro.

Update 011715

Finnish National TV, YLE, recently broadcast (010715) the first episode of a show titled Kaukasia 30 päivässä (Caucasia in 30 Days). Both Marko and Vesa alerted us to this broadcast; thanks guys. Marko tells us that:

"The Finnish presenter of the "Caucasia in 30 Days" interviews a Russian guy who was in the team that assembled the Futuro on Dombai back in 1976. The team included four Finnish Futuro specialists from Polykem plus Russian helping hands. The program was shot in 2014 and includes nice exterior and interior scenes of Dombai Futuro."

The show can be viewed around the world on the TV station's website using this link but only until 041215 so check it out while you have the chance. The Futuro section starts at approximately 36:30 and runs about 5 minutes.

We grabbed a couple of screenshots from the video and added them below before the ability to view the footage disappeared. Hopefully this is not too much of a copyright infringement, we are not showing the footage after all, and this way there will be at least a couple of shots after the footage is no longer available on the TV Station's website.

Dombai Futuro - YLE.FI - Caucasia in 30 Days - 010715 - 1

Dombai Futuro - YLE.FI - Caucasia in 30 Days - 010715 - 2

Dombai Futuro - YLE.FI - Caucasia in 30 Days - 010715 - 3

Dombai Futuro - YLE.FI - Caucasia in 30 Days - 010715 - 4

Dombai Futuro - YLE.FI - Caucasia in 30 Days - 010715 - 5

Dombai Futuro - YLE.FI - Caucasia in 30 Days - 010715 - 6

Update 062414

We came across the rather cool photo below the other day on LiveJournal; it was posted on this page by raduga_nk and the comment attached to the photo suggests it was taken 30 years ago. We cannot seem to figure out how to request permission to use the photo here, perhaps you need a LiveJournal account (which we do not have) to contact the user, so if this is your photo please let us know so we can provide proper attribution.

Dombai Futuro - Date Unknown - Three Skiers - carmelist

The same day we also came across this video which provides some new (at least to us) footage of this Futuro. The video was posted by Marc Seven on 020911 and is titled "Disco Voador Na Montanha" (Google Translate indicates this is Portuguese and translates it to "Flying Saucer On The Mountain"). Seven comments (again translated by Google Translate) that "I found a flying saucer in the Alps Caucasus A hotel for 8 people, used in seasons of skiing."

The video is shot largely from a single angle and is somewhat unsteady at times but it does provide some nice new footage of this Futuro.


Update 021514

We were sent a link to this video the other day by Yves - thanks Yves. The video is Russian with a soundtrack that, in our opinion, would make the voices difficult to hear even if we spoke Russian so we have no idea what is being said. That said it does feature footage of the Futuro starting at around 5:57 in.

Google Translate suggests the video is titled "Golden Autumn Dombae! Ken Moussa Achitara" and the one comment translates to "A trip to the Caucasus region-Teberda Dombay, October 2012".


Update 090713

Coincidence is a funny thing. We are always on the lookout for Futuro memorabilia, books or magazines with Futuro articles or photographs and so on. We recently came across several items that featured the Dombai Futuro all within the space of just a few days. The images below that all feature the Dombai Futuro are of these items:
Dombai Futuro - 1981 Postcard Front

Dombai Futuro - 1985 Mint Cover

Dombai Photo Book - Cover

Dombai Photo Book - Photo 1

Dombai Photo Book - Photo 2

Dombai Photo Book - Photo 3

Update 092912

In a short post on the website Dark Roasted Blend the writer suggests that the Futuro is "Seemingly a knock-off of the "Futuro House" ..." There is actually no reason to believe it is not a Futuro and the author gives no basis for the statement.

The article also reports that it was "built" in 1979. That seems unlikley to us as, based on all of our research to date, production of the Futuro had ceased at least a couple of years prior to that.

This photo, one of the best photos of the Dombai Futuro we have seen, was taken by Socialism Expo and is displayed here under CC 2.0.

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Socialism Expo

The excellent series of photographs shown below were taken between 022204 and 022804 by Sergei Novikov. The images were posted on his website novikov.com and can be found on this page and the subsequent pages. The photographs are displayed here in accordance with the novikov.com copyright terms.

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 1

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 2

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 3

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 4

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 5

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 6

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 7

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 8

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 9

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 10

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 11

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Novikov Feb 2004 12

Update 071712

This image by Andrey Khrolenok is the most recent we have been able to find and it places the Futuro still on site 030411 (Displayed here under CC 2.0).

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Hotel Tarelka 030411

Original Information 092511

The Hotel Tarelka is located in Dombai, Russia high in the Caucasus Mountains and is home to a Futuro. Given that the original idea behind the Futuro was for it to be used as a ski-cabin the Futuro in Dombai is probably the only remaining example with a use that, while not exactly as intended, is pretty close to that originally envisioned by Matti Suuronen back in 1968.

The Hotel Tarelka is not a typical hotel; it is not located at the bottom of the ski slopes but rather it is way up on the mountainside. The Hotel information suggests getting down into the valley late at night or early in the morning is difficult because the funicular is closed. If you have an early flight home after you trip you either need to ski down (with your luggage - we are not skiers but that does not sound like much fun) or spend your last night in the valley at a different hotel. The benefit for that restriction? When you get up in the morning you are already up the mountain and ready to ski; not lining up with everyone else to get up the mountain.

The Futuro acts as the "mess hall" for the hotel which is really a group of cabins that can accommodate 8 - 12 people that is normally rented out en masse.

So, if you are a skier and a Futuro fan what could be better that the Hotel Tarelka? You can get more information about the hotel on the Dombai.info website or maybe you just need to call that travel agent of yours.

As far as the location itself goes you may have noticed the Google Maps imagery for the location is basically nothing; hopefully at the time of some future update there will be later imagery to use. In the meantime though it is not possible to confirm the precise location of the Futuro using Google Maps it is reasonable to assume the co-ordinates quoted are accurate. They were sourced from the reputable site World Architecture Map.org and are confirmed by the placement of several Panoramio images on Google Maps as well as information in several articles and blogs by people who have stayed at the Hotel Tarelka.

We have not come across many photos of this Futuro so far. The two below are from the Hotel Tarelka page on Dombai.info but the images are extremely small so forgive the very grainy appearance here as we are displaying them much larger than the original image size. A few additional photos can be found by following the links below:
Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Hotel Tarelka - 1

Futuro, Dombai, Russia - Hotel Tarelka - 2

Sources
In Books & Magazines
Latest Confirmation

Dombai - Latest Confirmation - 051719 - zulfat_malikThis photograph by zulfat_malik taken 051719.

The original photograph can be seen on Instagram here.

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