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.
About "Things Futuro" | TheFuturoHouse.com Collection
Our interest in the Futuro House quickly became our passion for the Futuro House and eventually, perhaps some might say, our obsession with the Futuro House. We collect books, magazines, collectibles and other items that relate to the Futuro House in some way. As is the case with all collections it started off relatively small with easy to obtain pieces but over time it has become quite extensive and worthy of "Futuro Nuts".
The collection contains all manner of items from unique original pieces from the early days of Futuro through contemporary mass-produced items and everything in between. At the time of the latest update to this page the collection comprises 448 physical items plus 155 "digital" items (in particular digital copies of newspaper articles) and these pages are effectively the collection's "catalog".
As is the case with most collectors we are always looking to add to this collection so if you have Futuro related items for sale or know of any Futuro items for sale please let us know.
A Few Notes Relating To This Collection
Out Of Date Item Descriptions: Item descriptions were accurate at the time collection items were acquired but may have become outdated since. In the event that information pertaining to an item has changed following the reference links in item descriptions will take you to pages where that updated information can be found.
Translation: There are a number of items in this collection in languages other than English. While Google Translate can be a valuable tool it is never as good as a true translation by a bi-lingual person. Such items will display a "Translate" icon. If you are able and would be willing to translate an item please click the "Translate" icon for that item to send an email requesting high res files for the purposes of translation. Thank you in advance for any help you can offer. You would receive full attribution for the translation along with a link to your own website (or other website of your choosing) and you would also have the satisfaction of knowing your are contributing to the Futuro knowledge store here on this website.
Copyright: These pages contain photographs of various books, magazines and other items in this collection. Many of these items, and certainly the majority of the books and magazines are subject to copyright and the images are deliberately of a fairly low resolution and are used here simply to catalogue this collection and to provide you with a glimpse of what you would be getting if you chose to follow a similar path to us and purchase any of these items for yourself. If you wish to display any of this subject matter on your own website or otherwise use it please respect the publishers copyright and purchase your own copy.
Amazon Links: These pages are not aimed at advertising and we are not trying to sell you anything. However, there are expenses with keeping up a website such as this and we spend a great deal of time researching and trying to maintain this site as the most up to date and complete Futuro House resource on the web. So if, and only if, you already intend to purchase for yourself something we have in this collection please consider using the links provided here to do so if the price is right (we strongly suggest exploring other online retailers as well before making a purchase; most of the links here are to Amazon and while their prices are almost always competitive they are not always the cheapest). Doing this will not increase your cost but it will earn us a small (and it is small) commission on the sale that will be put towards our recurring web hosting costs. You know what the proverbial "they" say - every little helps!
Item Loans: We have in the past loaned items to institutions for various exhibitions (details here) and, on a case by case basis, are prepared to do so again in the future. If you are interested in such a loan please contact us with details of the Institution and/or Exhibition making the inquiry, the dates the items would be required and which items you are interested in displaying.
Slide, Futuro House, Llanerch, PA - 1973 | Purchased 101514
We came across this 35mm slide a week or so ago on E-Bay. The slide shows a Futuro House serving as a "hamburger stand" in Llanerch, PA in 1973. Llanerch is actually crossed out on the slide notations but we are told that the location is correct (though the meaning of the edited notation is unknown). The slide comes from a local college collection that is being digitized.
"was originally built as a restaurant. According to the previous owner, the restaurant was called "The Round House" in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any information on this. It was only a restaurant until 1978, when the owners passed away. The gentleman I bought it from purchased it from their estate and used it as a travel agency. As you can imagine, it attracted a lot of attention. Sometime in the early eighties (I believe), he closed that business and moved the Futuro to its current location near Philadelphia"
There are various mentions of a Futuro House in the vicinity of Llanerch (though none actually reference Llanerch specifically, they reference various neighborhoods and localities nearby) and many of them suggest the Futuro was located on Township Line Road. In particular this post in the Futuro House Yahoo Group talks of a Futuro House on Township Line Road in Drexel Hill, PA (a "stone's throw" from Llanerch) at which the writer ate a Cheese Steak and which the writer indicates was the Futuro now in Media.
Based on this it seems to us to be reasonable to think that this photo is of the Futuro now located in Media, PA.
Moreover the photographic evidence also suggests this is the same Futuro. The Llanerch slide shows a Futuro that appears to have a second entry. At the right of the photo we can see the standard Futuro entryway (in the raised position). At the left of the photo we see a structure which almost certainly (though not definitively based on the angle of the photo) shows what appears to be an entrance structure. If we look at photos of the Media Futuro we see that approximately opposite the standard entry way there is a second opening in the structure of the Futuro (this photo is a good example of one where both "entrances" can be seen).
Given the knowledge that the Media Futuro was once a PA restaurant, the various reports of a Futuro in the approximate vicinity of Llanerch, the mention of eating at the Futuro on Township Line Road in the Yahoo Group and the photographic evidence we are confident that this slide does indeed depict the Media Futuro as it appeared in Llanerch, PA in 1973.
This set of 5 35mm slides dates from June 1972 (first three) and October 1972 (last two). They depict a Futuro (or Futuros) serving as "Space Banks" for City Federal Saving Bank.
The slides include two showing a Futuro being delivered to a site by Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane (it seems likely this event is the same one as depicted in this photo), one interior shot and two exterior shots.
The specific locations are not indicated.
In the early 1970's there were multiple Futuros used as "Space Banks" in this way. It is unclear exactly how many Futuros were used in this way and at how many locations. There are many reports, photos, videos and references to "Space Banks" at a variety of mall locations and in some cases reports of an existing "Space Bank" being moved from one location to another.
Film Director Mika Taanila directed a music video in 1998 for Ektroverde's track "Inauguration of a Spacebank". That video includes footage that was shot in 1972 by Samuel Samson that clearly shows a Futuro with less than the standard number of windows around the circumference of the unit (8 as opposed to the standard 16).
This configuration was supposedly a "security measure" and, according to an article in the Winter 2013 issue of Live Magazine, four of these units were manufactured; two were placed at Woodbridge Mall and Willingboro Shopping Center and one of them is still extant and located in Willingboro. Of the other two one is now in Covington (modified to actually have 10 windows and two entrances). The disposition of the other units is unknown.
Contrast that window configuration with that seen in these slides which clearly shows a standard 16 window configuration and that would suggest that there were a minimum of three Futuros used as "Space Banks", the two with 8 windows at Woodbridge Mall and Willingboro Shopping Center and at least one with a normal window configuration (assuming all of these slides show the same unit).
These photos are a very close representation of the slides themselves including the two that are extremely dark; seems like not the best photography in some cases. The custom entry way seen in the last two slides is interesting; we had not noticed it in other photos and videos before but having recently looked at the video above for the first time in years it also appears there (at around 1:25) though there is no time in the video where the Futuro is actually shown with the entrance in place.
Additional slides from these photo shoots can be found here and much more information on "Space Banks" can be found here.
This set of 24 slides comes from the same two photo shoots as those first 5 slides. The first slide was taken 060272 around the time of the Futuro's "touch down". Though there is no commentary or description accompanying the slide the gentleman on the radio can be identified as Gilbert G. Roessner (based on a National League Journal article which included a picture of Roessner), the president of City Federal Savings & Loan, who was presumably "directing" operations.
The remaining slides are dated October 1972 and are numbered 1 through 33, there are 23 of the 33 in this set and 2 were included in the previous set so in total 25 of 33 are now in this collection. The shots in this set are, for the most part, very similar in composition but the camera settings were obviously different; the end results vary from very light to very dark. Our assumption is that this was a professional shoot with the photographer wanting to ensure a range of shots from which to pick.
This was the first of several Futuros that served as branches of City Federal Savings and Loan in the New Jersey area during the early 1970's. Two variants of Futuro were used in this way, standard Futuros with 16 windows around the circumference of the unit and a variant which had only 8 windows. More information on "Space Banks" can be found here.
Undated Photo Of Moreys Pier Futuro | Purchased 050619
This 12" by 7¾" photo shows the Seaside Heights Futuro as it appeared "back in the day" when it was a part of the Star Wars ride at Morey's Pier in Wildwood, NJ. Futuros have served many purposes over the decades; this was perhaps one of the more unusual.
Photo Of Pensacola Beach | Purchased 021817
This 3½" square photo shows the interior of the Pensacola Beach Futuro. Though the photo is clearly of some age there is no indication of when it was taken (or who the folks in the photo are).
Photo Set, Dombai - 1983 | Purchased 081916
This set of photo cards dates from 1983 and includes 12 cards featuring images from the Dombai area. Most include two images though two include three. One of the cards includes an image of the Dombai Futuro.
Though these were advertised as postcards when we purchased the set we believe they would more accurately be classified as souvenir photos. No doubt they could have been used as postcards but we do not believe they were designed or intended 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. That of course is opinion and we could be completely wrong.
The psychology of collecting is interesting. We already had a copy of the individual card that includes the image of the Dombai Futuro (see here) but when we came across the full set the "collector" in us wanted to also add that to this collection even though there were no additional images of the Futuro included in the set and so here it is.
Photo Set, Dombai - Undated | Purchased 111017
Though looking like postcards the cards in this set of nine appear to be souvenirs of the Dombai area rather than actual postcards since there is a description on the back of each card rather than the space for an address, a message and a stamp that a postcard normally includes. The set is undated. One of the cards is a photo of the Dombai Futuro.
Photos Of Futuro At C.N.I.T. Circa 1972 | Purchased 061915
Right after we posted these photos a couple of weeks ago Yves Buysse pointed out how unobservant we are. The second photo clearly shows the Futuro had two doorways; we had not noticed this despite looking several times at these large prints. Possibly an extra section without a door was added to the original purchase of the Futuro but more likely the second doorway was blocked of later. A little more info and a photo that does appear to show the second doorway blocked off can be found here.
This week we were able to acquire this additional set of four photos also by Jean Ribière. As with the earlier prints these are certified and signed by the Fond Jean Ribière and the Clement Cividino Gallery.
The photos are large format prints on 19.5" by 15.5 inch heavy duty photo stock. The images themselves are 12.5" by 12.5" (with the exception of one which is 15.25" by 12.5") which will allow for a nice mat without obscuring any part of the actual photo when we eventually get around to framing them.
Vintage Polaroids Of Pensacola Beach | Purchased 020317
These two vintage "Polaroids" show the Pensacola Beach Futuro. Though undated they almost certainly show the Futuro early in its life as both of the photos show a lot of aging and are clearly many years old.
Though both have the marking "Polaroid" it is unclear if that refers to Polaroid film or to them actually being shot using a Polaroid camera; they do not look like the images we recall shooting with a Polaroid camera in our youth but maybe there were different versions of such cameras.
The first photo is 4¼" x 2¼" and is mounted to a piece of cardboard. The second is 6¼" x 4½" and is mounted in a 8½" x 7¾" "presentation folder".
Specifically the shot shows the Futuro along with (in the foreground) Jean Maneval's Bulle Six Coques and (to the right of the Futuro) Casoni & Casoni's Rondo.
On the rear of the photograph is the date, 082671, various hand written annotations and a typed note on piece of brown tape that reads:
"Visitors to the first International Plastic House Exhibition in Lüdenscheid, West Germany, can see these model homes, named "Orion" (in front), "Futuro" (left) with the "Bio-Dome" behind it, and "Rondo" behind "Orion.""
We are not familiar with the "Bio-Dome" which we assume to be the dual "bee-hive" like structures behind the Futuro; we do not have the time to research it right now but at some point we will and at that time we will try to remember to update this page. In the meantime if anyone has any information on the "Bio-Dome" please let us know. "Orion" was another name for the Bulle Six Coques.
And, heading off on a tangent, one final note - coincidences always intrigue us and finding this photo the other day was a big coincidence. We received two books - Homes: Today & Tomorrow and Prefab Houses - and a magazine - Hobby: Das Magazin der Technik - that contained photos of the Lüdenscheid exhibition over the course of a couple of days (we did not know what photographs they contained until we received them) and we had just completed writing an article about the exhibition when we found this photo. The books and the magazine seemed to be a big coincidence; then coming across this photo right around the same time is almost spooky.
As is often the case there are significant differences in palette between photos of a photo and scans of a photo. In this case the top two images are photos front and back; the last shot is a scan. The palette of the original photo in this case is actually quite close to that seen in the bottom photo. The top photo also shows the original photo in it's entirety; the scanner decided to crop some of the sky at the top of the photo and so the scanned image shows a slightly cropped version of the original photograph.
Press Photo, Belgium - 083171 | Purchased 111912
This is an original Press Photo from 1971. The photo is 10¼" by 8" and shows an unusual grouping of three Futuros. The photo is dated 083171, stamped by the Keystone Press Agency, Inc and carries a sticker on the back which reads:
"AUGUST 31st. 1971. ... NOT 'FLYING SAUCERS' ... No - these are not flying saucers landing in Belgium, - but futuristic looking bungalows. They were designed by Finnish architect, Matti Suuronen, and made of fibre glass. ... H/Keystone ... /838111
There are several references to there being three Futuros in Belgium (see the Tildonk Futuro page for details) in the early 70's and most suggest they were initially together at a single location; almost certainly this is a photograph of those Futuros given the reference to Belgium and also to the almost complete lack of any other examples of three Futuro's together.
The only other photograph of three Futuros together we have seen can be found on page 132 of the April 2001 issue of Casa Brutus Magazine (#13). We have no idea what the magazine tells us about the photo of Futuro in general, we cannot read it and have not yet found anyone to translate from Japanese but what is extremely interesting is that in that photo one of the Futuros is marked with the words "Futuro Bungalows".
We have only seen the word "bungalow" used to describe a Futuro in two places; the photo in Casa Brutus and the text on the back of this photo. It seems to us that perhaps both photos are of the same grouping of Futuros but from different angles; obviously that is just conjecture but there is nothing we can see in the photographs that precludes that possibility and, as indicated earlier, we have never come across any other grouping of three Futuros.
This photograph was taken at 50°47'18.64"N 4°25'14.94"E - there is a screenshot showing the location as it currently appears in Google Maps on the Belgian Futuro page along with some interior shots of one of these Futuros.
As we found previously with the Baltimore Sun Wirephoto there is a drastic difference between the images resulting from us scanning and photographing a photo with the actual appearance of the photo being somewhere in between the two. The top two images show front and back photographed; the last image is a scan of the photo; it is interesting to note our scanner chose to "crop" a large portion of the sky, too white we assume. The actual appearance of the photo is most closely represented in the top image.
Press Photo, London - 100768 | Purchased 030114
This is an original Press Photo from 1968. The photo is 8" by 9 7/8" and shows the Lord Mayor of London visiting Futuro #002 during the Finnfocus Export Fair in October of 1968. The photo is dated 100768, stamped by the Keystone Press Agency, Inc and carries a label on the back which reads:
"October 7th 1968 - LORD MAYOR VISIT FLOATING TRADE FAIR "FINNFOCUS 68" - The Lord Mayor of London today visited the luxury car ferry m.s. Finnpartner, on which a floating trade fair called "Finnfocus 68" is being held this week. The exhibition is sponsored by the Finnish Government. The Finnpartner is moored on the Thames below Tower Bridge. - KEYSTONE PHOTO SHOWS:- The Lord Mayor of London, SIR GILBERT INGLEFIELD, relaxes in one of the super chairs in the space-like plastic cottage - part of the exhibition on board the Finnpartner. - H/Keystone JW/812806"
The Finnfocus Export Fair of October 1968 took place in London. The event was designed to showcase Finnish design and was hosted on the ferry Finnpartner. The Finnpartner was moored on the Thames close to Tower Bridge for the exhibition. Futuro #002, now located in Matsalu, Estonia was was one of the exhibits at the Fair; in fact one of the most iconic of all Futuro photographs was taken at this event. That photograph was an external shot of the Futuro with Tower Bridge in the background; we have an original press copy of that photograph in this collection here along with a RPPC and a poster print both showing the Finnpartner with Futuro onboard.
This photograph gives us a glimpse of the inside of the Futuro at the event. As is not unusual, particularly for some of the older photographs of Futuro, the descriptions are interesting; in this case we read of "super chairs" in a "space-like plastic cottage." It was in fact only after this exhibition, which was the first exposure of Matti Suuronen's creation to a "mass audience", that the Futuro House actually became known as the "Futuro House."
As is often the case there are significant differences in palette between photos of a photo and scans of a photo. In this case the top two images are photos front and back; the last shot is a scan. The palette of the original photo in this case is actually quite close to that seen in the top photo.
Press Photo, Lake Geneva - 041870 | Purchased 050817
This original press photo is 9 ⅞" by 7 ⅞" in size and dates from 1970. It shows the Futuro that was located for a short time at the Playboy Resort in Lake Geneva, WI. This Futuro is now located in Rockland, WI.
The lower part of the photo and the accompanying description clipped from a newspaper article is affixed to the back of the photo; the text reads:
"No, Lake Geneva is not being invaded by little green men from outer space. The Futuro, a versatile living module that can be used as a vacation home, is formed of fiber glass in the shape of a flying saucer."
Among other markings and annotations on the rear of the photo are a red stamp that reads "Sentinel Copy" (perhaps the Milwaukee Sentinel), a date stamp in red which is a little unclear but we believe reads 041870 and a stamp identifying the location of the photograph as the "Playboy Club-Hotel, Lake Geneva, Wis, 53147" and the photographer as one Sol Frishman.
As we have found many times there are differences in palette between photos of a photo and scans of a photo. Here the top two images are photos front and back and the last shot is a scan. The palette of the original photo is very close to that seen in the scan though the scan cropped the photo border at the left.
Press Photo, Turenki? - 012970 | Purchased 032313
This is an original Press Photo purchased from the Rogers Photo Archive and shows a white Futuro partially covered in snow located on a snow covered hillside with trees around it.
There are several annotations on the back of the photo; among them is one dated 020170 that reads:
"The Futuro, Leisure Home which will be the star of the 10-day Colorado Garden and Home Show opening Friday at Currigan Hall."
That could be interpreted as meaning the Futuro in the photo was the one being exhibited or it could be interpreted as meaning the photo was simply an "example" of a Futuro and not the one being displayed as part of the exhibition.
We have not had the time to research the photo but looking at the location we believe this is a "stock" press photo and not a photo of the Futuro being exhibited; the location simply does not look like an exhibition site and in any case the annotation on the back of the photo references "Currigan Hall" (demolished 2002) which suggests an indoor exhibition.
The earliest stamped date on the back of the photo is 012970 and we imagine that is the date the photo was taken. At that time Futuro #000 was located in Turenki, Finland and the photograph seems very similar to others we have seen of the Futuro in Turenki; we cannot be certain without further research but we have strong feeling this was a photo of Turenki used in a US newspaper reporting on the 1970 Colorado Home & Garden Show.
As is typical there are differences in palette between photos of a photo and scans of a photo though in this case they are more similar than usual. The first two images are photos front and back; the last shot is a scan. The palette of the original photo is very close to that seen in the top photo. The scan disregarded a section of the hillside at the bottom and returned a cropped version of the photo.
This is an original UPI (United Press International) Press Photo that was taken early 1968 and is one a pair, the other half of which is a photograph of the exterior of the Futuro House taken the same day.
The annotation on the back indicates Helsinki but a comparison of the exterior photograph and a photograph of a Futuro at the Polykem Plant found on page 24 of the book "Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday" edited by Marko Home & Mika Taanila confirms that the photographs were taken at the Polykem Plant in Hiekkaharju. Given the date it seems most likely that this is a photograph of Futuro #000 though we cannot be certain of that.
On the rear of the photograph is the date it was taken, 042568, the date it was used 080168 (though there is no indication of what publication(s) it was used in), a handwritten annotation that simply reads "House Futuro" and a typed note that reads:
"Space Age Living | Helsinki, Finland: Inside the ellipsoid house, (left to right) architect Matti Suuronen, technician Heikki Tikkanen, Sven Lindforas, Yrjo Ronkka and Peter Stude discuss its floor plans. The sides of the one-room house will be fitted with specially designed furniture, while a combination open fireplace and grill will be in place in the middle of the room."
The annotations on the back of the photograph do not tell us the roles of all of the individuals seen in the photograph but Anna-Maija Kuitunen's thesis "Futuro no. 001 : Documentation and Evaluation of Preservation Need" tells us that Sven Lindforas was "in charge of the manufacturing technique", Yrjo Ronkka was an engineer dealing with structural calculations and Peter Stude was the project foreman.
As always there are significant differences in palette between photos of a photo and scans of a photo. In this case the top two images are photos front and back and the last shot is a scan. The palette of the original photo in this case is actually somewhere between those seen in the photo and the scan.
This is an original UPI (United Press International) Press Photo that was taken early 1968. The annotation on the back indicates Helsinki and states that the unit was located in a warehouse.
However a comparison of this photograph and a photograph of a Futuro at the Polykem Plant found on page 24 of the book "Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday" edited by Marko Home & Mika Taanila confirms that this photograph was taken at the Polykem Plant in Hiekkaharju. Given the date it seems most likely that this is a photograph of Futuro #000 though we cannot be certain of that.
This photograph is one of a pair taken the same day; the other was an interior shot that featured several members of the project team including Matti Suuronen.
On the rear of the photograph is the date it was taken, 042568, the date it was used 080168 (though there is no indication of what publication(s) it was used in), a handwritten annotation that simply reads "House Futuro", a UPI Credit stamp and a typed note that reads:
"Space Age Living | Helsinki, Finland: An ellipsoid house, fashioned after the fictional "Flying Saucer" stands almost completed in a warehouse where its being built by architect Matti Suuronen. The door (not yet hinged) opens downward to provide entrance stairs into the house."
As we often find there are significant differences in palette between photos of a photo and scans of a photo. Here the top two images are photos front and back and the last shot is a scan. The palette of the original photo is quite close to that seen in the scan.
Black & White Photo Of Lahnajärvi | Purchased 113017
This old black and white photo of the Matsalu Futuro back in its Lahnajärvi days is undated but it is evidently old and almost certainly a photograph printed during the time the Futuro was in Lahnajärvi. The photo is small; only 3.4 inches square.
Photo Of Futuro Helicopter Transport | Purchased 121915
The photo shows the same event seen in these 35mm slides.
This was the first of several Futuros that served as branches of City Federal Savings and Loan in the New Jersey area during the early 1970's. Two variants of Futuro were used in this way, standard Futuros with 16 windows around the circumference of the unit and a variant which had only 8 windows. More information on "Space Banks" can be found here.
Futuro #000 At Vision & Reality | Purchased 010218
The photo below is of an original large format photo of Futuro #000 at the exhibition; the photo is around 30" by 20" and printed on heavy photographic paper.
Coincidentally we recently came across the photo above left on Instagram which shows a different, though very similar, view of the Futuro during the exhibition.
Photo, CNIT - Date Unknown | Received 120719
This great 8" square photo of the Saint-Ouen Futuro as it appeared outside the CNIT (Centre Des Nouvelles Industries Et Technologies) in La Défense in Paris, France in the 1970's was sent to us recently by fellow collector Yves Buysse; many thanks Yves. it makes a great addition to this collection.
Slide, Futuro, Todmorden, UK - 1970's | Purchased 122115
Waterside Plastics of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK was, to our knowledge, the only manufacturer of Futuros in the UK. It is unclear how many units were manufactured by Waterside Plastics though it seems likely there were at least three.
The third, seen in this vintage 35mm slide, was located in Todmorden in the early 1970's. To date we have not come across any indication of where this unit may have gone after leaving Todmorden and the current whereabouts of the UK Futuros is unknown (if indeed any of them still exist).
The one Futuro now in the UK was brought to the UK a couple of years ago by Craig Barnes from South Africa for restoration. Known as "Futuro 22" this Futuro is currently located on the third floor terrace of the University of the Arts London's Central St Martins' building.
This 35mm slide, dated 1972, shows a Futuro in a location we are not familiar with (or our memory is failing and we are just not recognizing it).
The photo can also be found on Flickr but there is no information there that helps identify the location. There are some markings visible above the windows to the right of the photo but unfortunately not enough to be able to read the wording in order to use that to help track down the location.
If you know anything about this photo or are able to help identify the location please let us know.
AP Wirephoto, Arcadia, FL - 033070 | Purchased 111312
This is an original (certified) AP Wirephoto from the archives of the Baltimore Sun. The photo is 10¾" by 8" and shows a Futuro located near Arcadia, Florida on 033070. We have not previously seen a reference to a Futuro located in Arcadia and likely given the date and the description of it as a "pilot" model it was most likely displayed here for marketing purposes for only a short time though that is just conjecture at this point.
The text to the left of the picture is actually a part of the "photo" and gives us the date and the location; text becoming part of the photo is a feature of wire photos (see notes below for more information on wirephotos). The text is faint, though you can just make it out in the detail scan below (click the image for a larger version), and reads:
"(TP7) ARCADIA, Fla., March 30--LOOK FOR THE LITTLE GREEN MEN--You might find some and then maybe you won't but this "flying saucer" has prompted all sorts of conjecture. It "landed" recently at the Nocatee-Owens Bridge site on the Peace River near Arcadia and is a pilot model of a fiberglass house built by a New Jersey construction company. It is 26-feet in diameter. (AP Wirephoto)(rk21930) 1970"
This Futuro and it's location looks very similar to the location and Futuro shown in the large circular image in the article "Portable Playhouse" in the September 1970 issue of Playboy Magazine. That article does not identify the locations where the photos were taken so we cannot be sure but to us it looks like the Playboy photo was taken in Arcadia. In addition to the similarity of the location note the vent/chimney on the top of the Futuro which also looks the same in both photos.
The first two images below are from a scan of the Wirephoto; the last shot is a photo of the Wirephoto. It is amazing to see how different they look; the actual physical appearance and coloration is somewhere between the two.
What Is A Wirephoto
Wirephotos are different than traditional photographic prints! The prints are the result of what used to be breakthrough technology (now completely obsolete) that allowed a photographic image to be scanned, transmitted over "the wire" (telegraph, phone, satellite networks) and then printed at the receiving location. At the sending station, a typed caption was prepared and pasted to the border of the original photograph. It was then inserted into the sending machine and transmitted. At the receiving end, photo paper was then exposed with the transmitted image and the caption information became a part of the photographic image. They are often on thinner, slick paper (very similar to old thermal roll fax paper) and often fade or become sepia toned quicker than traditional silver halide prints. Long removed from commercial use, these artifacts represent an important era in the history of news media. | Go here for more information.
The Finnfocus Export Fair of October 1968 took place in London. The event was designed to showcase Finnish design and was hosted on the ferry Finnpartner. The Finnpartner was moored on the Thames close to Tower Bridge for the exhibition.
Futuro #002, now located in Matsalu, Estonia was was one of the exhibits at the Fair and was located on the Finnpartner's upper deck.
This item is a set of four original negatives of photos (unpublished according to the seller and certainly not photos we have seen anywhere before) of the Finnpartner while located in London for the exhibition. In two of the photos the Futuro is visible; the second and third images below are "positive scans" of the negatives of the two photos in which the Futuro can be seen.
Photo, Dombai - 1978 | Purchased 110816
The photos below are of a print that combines photos of the Dombai 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 1978. 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.
Photo, Dombai - 1983 | Purchased 122815
The photos below depict a print that combines photos of the Dombai 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:
The Tourist Cottage
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 believed 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.
Photo, Dombai - 1985 | Purchased 012219
The photos below are of an 8.25" x 3.5" printed card that combines photos of the Dombai Futuro and an airport shot into a single print. The text on the rear (according to Google Translate - which perhaps is not doing the best job) is titled "In The Mountains Of Dombai" and reads, in part, "those wishing to ski, those who love hiking trails are waiting for the cable cars, snowfields, the generous wealth of nature dombai". The copyright line dates to 1985. 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 believe 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.
Undated Photograph Of Dombai Futuro | Purchased 030419
This 7¼" by 5¼" photo of the Dombai Futuro and (presumably) a group of tourists is undated and carries no information or markings on the back but it is clearly of some age based on the condition and coloring.
Greenwich Futuro At Morey's Pier 1978 | Purchased 071018
When we first saw this 12" by 8" 1978 photo we thought it showed the Seaside Heights Futuro (or more correctly a small part of it) back in its days at Morey's Pier in Wildwood, NJ and when we checked it against other photos of Morey's Pier we were able to confirm that was the case.
The first photo below is of the actual print which is cropped from the original source which can be seen in the second photo below; in that photo at the far right a small part of a yellow and red structure can be seen which can also be seen next to the Futuro in the last photo below, an aerial shot of Morey's Pier.
Photo Set, Dombai - 1982 | Purchased 081217
When we first saw this item on a Russian auction site we thought it was a set of postcards but when we received it it turned out not to be postcards. The cards are smaller than standard postcards (they measure 5½" by 3½") and the reverse does not have the normal "postcard layout" that features space for an address, a message and a stamp. The set dates from 1982 and one of the cards features the Dombai Futuro.
The same photo actually appears on this postcard though here it appears to be slightly cropped (note the difference in how much of the rock lower left is visible).
This set of photo cards is undated but was likely manufactured within the last few years (and it is possibly still in production; our Russion contact purchased it directly from the manufacturer). The set, that includes a cover/folder and 12 individual cards, features the Dombai Futuro both on the cover and on one of the cards.
The set may have been intended for use as postcards but we think they would more accurately be classified as souvenir photos. No doubt they could have been used as postcards but we do not believe they were designed or intended 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. That of course is just our opinion and we could be completely wrong (would not be the first time).
Photos Of Futuro At C.N.I.T. Circa 1972 | 042815
Renowned French photographer Jean Ribière was national vice president of the Association Nationale des Journalistes Reporters Photographes et Cinéastes (National Association of Journalists Reporters Photographers and Filmmakers) now known as FreeLens. After his passing in 1989 an archive of 1000's of negatives, prints and other documents passed to his daughter Helen Tabes. That archive is now managed by the Fond Jean Ribière.
These photos are limited edition (1/5) prints from the original negatives of two Jean Ribière shots of the Saint-Ouen Futuro as it appeared outside the CNIT (Centre Des Nouvelles Industries Et Technologies) in La Défense in Paris, France in 1972.
They are large format prints certified and signed by the Fond Jean Ribière and the Clement Cividino Gallery. The black and white photo measures 14.5" by 14.5" and the color photo measures 15.7" by 11.8".
While the prints are original from the time unfortunately the period frames did not survive the international journey to Dallas intact so they have been recently reframed.
The first photo is 19.5" by 12" and the other two are 25.5" by 12" (the actual framed pieces are larger - the quoted dimensions are those of the actual photographs).
The first photo is a shot of several of the "plastic houses" that were displayed at the IKA. Specifically the photo includes the Futuro along with (in the foreground) Jean Maneval's Bulle Six Coques and (to the right of the Futuro) Casoni & Casoni's Rondo.
The second photo shows the Futuro accompanied by Miss IKA, Monika Geitmann. The third photo is primarily focused on the Futuro but it does also include the Rondo in the background.
On the rear of the photograph is the date, 101068, a category name and number, a bar code and a typed note on piece of brown tape that reads:
"PLASTIC HOUSE - LONDON: What looks like some kind of undersea vehicle is actually a futuristic house, unveiled aboard the motor ship Finnpartner here 10/7 at the start of the Finnish Trade Fair. The house is constructed of polyester plastic reinforced with fiber glass. It weighs more than a ton and can be transported in sections. In background is London's Tower Bridge."
Running a close second in our opinion is this photograph of Futuro #002 aboard the Finnpartner on the Thames in London in 1968 and it is exciting to have this photograph in our collection. Futuro #002 is now located in Matsalu, Estonia but in 1968 as a part of the Finnfocus-Export Fair Futuro #002 became the first Futuro to be exhibited to a "mass audience."
Also in our collection is an original press photo of the interior which you can see here along with a RPPC and a poster print both showing the Finnpartner with Futuro onboard.
As is often the case there are significant differences in palette between photos of a photo and scans of a photo. In this case the top two images are photos of this item front and back; the last shot is a scan. The palette of the original photo in this case is actually quite close to that seen in the bottom photo. The top photo also shows the original photo in it's entirety; the scanner decided to crop white areas around the edge of the photograph and so the scanned image shows a slightly cropped version of the original photograph.
Press Photos, Finnpartner In London - 1968 | 050818
In October 1968 Futuro #002, now located in Matsalu, Estonia, was featured during the Finnfocus Export Fair in London. Finnfocus was hosted aboard the ferry Finnpartner and the Futuro was located on the upper deck just in front of the twin smoke stacks.
This pair of press photos show the Finnpartner and Futuro #002 in a day and a night setting respectively. The photos are 10¼" x 8" and 11¼" x 9". One of the photos carries limited markings on the back but does include the date October 1968. The second photo carries a Fox Photos copyright stamp, a Daily telegraph stamp indicating the photo was published 101068 and a small clipping under the headline "Northern Lights on the Thames".
Press Photo, Family Fun - 031370 | Purchased 020615
This 10" by 8" press photo depicts a Futuro and (implied) the family that lives there. The title "Futuro Family Fun" is of our own making since the text that would normally accompany a press photo is missing and there is therefore no "official" title (the tape that at one time secured text notes to the back of the photo is still present but the notes unfortunately have "long gone").
The photo carries a stamp on the reverse that includes the date 031370. The stamp actually reads:
Mar 13 '70
The designation N.E.A presumably refers to a press agency or a publication. It is possible, but frankly unlikely, that the date is the date the photo was taken. This photograph carries the same markings and date as this pair of press photos which depicted an event known to have actually taken place some six months earlier on 092269; given that in that case we know the stamped date was not the "photo" date there is no reason to assume that the date reflects the "photo" date in this case.
There is no indication of the location of this shot and while we have the feeling we have seen the photo before somewhere it does not put us in mind of any identifiable location; no doubt someone out there with a better memory will let us know in due course. The only other markings on the photo are a handwritten note reading "Sweden House Moving" (which interestingly is the same as on the press photos of thehelicopter transport of a Futuro depicted in the pair of photos mentioned above) and various other stamped and handwritten annotations and references.
Sadly the photo is "damaged" by "markings", perhaps from a ballpoint pen. This is most evident around the "edges of the Futuro but it is also present elsewhere; the purpose of these markings is unknown.
As we often find there are significant differences in palette between photos of a photo and scans of a photo. In this case the top two images are photos and the last shot is a scan. The palette of the original physical photo matches very closely that seen in the scan. The scan does not show the entire "photo"; the scanner decided to "crop" the white borders seen on the actual photo.
On 092269 a Futuro was transported by Swedish Air Force helicopter from Råsunda (a section of the Solna Municipality) to Älvsjö; in Sweden (on page 31 of the Home & Taanila book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday we learn that the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter ran a front page story on this event. The Futuro was actually dropped off at the wrong location and had to be moved to the correct location by crane). More information on this event can be found here.
This pair of 10" by 8" original press photos captures this event. Despite the fact that this event took place on 092269 the photos carry a stamp on the reverse that includes the date 031370. The stamp actually reads:
Mar 13 '70
The designation N.E.A presumably refers to a press agency or a publication and the date is perhaps the date the photos were added to a collection or archive or maybe even a date of publication. The photos also carry a handwritten note reading "Sweden House Moving" along with various other stamped and handwritten annotations and references.
Unfortunately the text that would have accompanied the photos is not attached; only the tape that at one time secured text notes to the back of the photos is still present. In addition it appears that in some areas of the photos there are "markings", perhaps from a ballpoint pen. This is most evident around the nose of the helicopter on the first of the two photographs but also present elsewhere; the purpose of these markings is unknown.
As is usually the case there are significant differences in palette between photos of a photo and scans of a photo. In this case the top two images of each photo are photos and the last shot is a scan. The palette of the original photos in this case is very close to that seen in the scans. The scans do not show the entire "photos"; the scanner decided to "crop" the white borders seen on the actual photos.
Press Photo, Helsinki - 072268 | Purchased 030614
When we added this item to our collection a few days ago we was not absolutely certain it was a photo of a Futuro House. Since then we have come across a couple of photos that have convinced us that it is. The first, above left, was sent to us in an email - thanks Yves. The second, seen below, we came across on the website einestages.spiegel.de and is a photo of the interior of the Berlin Futuro.
Both these photos are similar to the "Weekend House Of Space Age" Press Photo and we are now certain the press photo is indeed a photo of a Futuro despite there being no reference to "Futuro" in the description.
In particular we had been unable to figure out exactly what we were seeing in the bottom right corner of the press photo but now it is clear that we are seeing an angled panel and the edge of one of the lower windows; this can be seen in the photo Yves sent us and it is particularly clear in the einestages.spiegel.de photo.
Original Information 030614
This is an original Press Photo from 1968. The photo is 8" by 10¼" and shows a portion of the interior of a Futuro House. The photo is dated 072268, stamped EUROPIX (Copyright United Press International), carries a handwritten annotation that reads "A734 Inside" and carries a label on the back which reads:
"LN 559110 LEH LONDON BUREAU - THE WEEKEND HOUSE OF SPACE AGE - HELSINKI, SWEDEN: The plastic week-end house is designed for five persons. Except for the grill a little kitchenette also helps inhabitants in the dining problems. - 22nd July 1968 PN-DF - UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL"
Descriptions attached to photos of the Futuro house are sometimes a little misleading and it is not unusual for them to be described as something other than a Futuro House. In this case there is nothing in the description on the back of the photo referencing the Futuro House at all. We are told the photo is of a "plastic week-end house" and that it was designed for "five persons", everything we have read suggests the Futuro could accommodate (very cozily in our opinion) up to eight people. In addition the writer seems a little geographically challenged; the text references "Helsinki, Sweden" but as far as we know Helsinki is the capital city of Finland.
Given the lack of anything actually referencing the Futuro we were not entirely sure this was a photograph of a Futuro when we first saw it. However after looking more closely we believe that it does indeed show a small portion of the interior of a Futuro House; in particular we believe the shape of the window in the rear of the shot is clearly indicative of a Futuro. If you have a different opinion let us know.
As with all of the press photos displayed on this page there are significant differences in palette between photos of a photo and scans of a photo. In this case the top two images are photos front and back and the last shot is a scan. The palette of the original photo is actually quite close to that seen in the bottom photo but the scanner ignored the white borders around the photograph so the top picture is a more true representation of the overall appearance and shape of the photo.
Waterside Plastics of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK was, at least to our knowledge, the only licensee/manufacturer of Futuros in the UK. It is unclear how many units were manufactured by Waterside Plastics and only one can be definitively confirmed though there are reasons to believe that at least two may have been manufactured; more information can be found in the Todmorden section of the "Lost Souls" page.
This is a pair of publicity/press photographs associated with Waterside Plastics and showing a Futuro located in Todmorden.
The first photo dates from 1969. The photo is 8½" x 6" in size. The exact date the photo was taken is unknown but the text attached to the photo indicates it was for first publication in newspapers on August 25th 1969. There is a stamp on the back of the photo from "The Press Association Limited" and attached to the back of the photo is a "press release" which reads:
No, this isn't an object from outer space, even though it looks like it. It is a Futuro from Todmorden, Yorkshire, which keeps its feet firmly on the ground. The Futuro is described as the leisure home of today and tomorrow. Its British manufacturers, a Todmorden firm have one permanently on show near their works. They are made of a type of plastic and stand on four legs. It is entered by means of a step ladder, which can be drawn up after you. They easily house a family, and the manufacturers anticipate a demand for these space-age homes, especially to be used for fishing, hunting or ski lodges, or as a quick get-away-from-it-all country cottage retreat.
August 25th 1969 PAP 141304-1(PNR/P-O)
PRESS ASSOCIATION PHOTOS
FOR FIRST PUBLICATION IN EVENING PAPERS OF MONDAY AUGUST 25TH 1969"
The second photo, 8½" x 6½" in size, is undated. There are references to March 11th and the Brighter Homes Exhibition which we had always thought had featured the Futuro in 1971 but it is possible that it was 1970; that said it is unclear how far ahead of the exhibition the press release was issued whatever the year. There are no stamps on this photo but it does have an attached press release which reads:
"NEWS BRIEFING - NEWS EDITORS, PROPERTY EDITORS, INDUSTRIAL EDITORS
IT'S ON ITS WAY! - but embargo March 11th
Make a note in your diary - March 11th at the Brighter Homes Exhibition, City Hall, Manchester. Official launching of the Futuro - the luxury leisure house of the seventies. From that date the Futuro will be marketed in the UK by the sole British manufacturers, Waterside Plastics of Todmorden, Lancs. This is no here today, gone tomorrow gimmick - it is a serious breakthrough in catering for the growing leisure needs of the latter twentieth century. Apart from the news story, there will be important stories for industrial, architectural and property pages. We will keep you posted but in the meantime, make a note to see it in Manchester at the press launch, Tuesday March 11th."
Readers are instructed to contact Waterside Plastics for more information and press enquiries are directed to public relations consultants KH Publicity.
An interesting side note is that the author here made an geographical error and noted Todmorden as being in Lancashire when in fact it is located in West Yorkshire.
We have to confess that we are not totally convinced that this is a actually a photo of the Waterside Plastics Todmorden Futuro. Though the reflections on the windows look similar the landscape and slope of the land does not look right and the trees seem more appropriate to Scandinavia than the UK.
We are wondering if this is actually a photo of Futuro #000 in Turenki, Finland. Looking at other Turenki photos the slope of the land appears correct, there are similar reflections in the windows and the lower viewing windows are pointed down the slope, presumably for the view. Photos of Turenki for comparison can be found here, here and here.
As we have found with other items there are significant differences in palette between photos of photos and scans of photos. In each case the first images are photos front and back with the third image being a scan of the front. The palette of the original photos is actually very close to that seen in the scan. In addition the photos have "curled" with age and it was not possible to take photos of them without some "glare" from lighting on the high gloss finish of the photos.
Poster Print, London - 1968 | 030714
In October 1968 Futuro #002, now located in Matsalu, Estonia, was featured during the Finnfocus Export Fair in London. Finnfocus was hosted aboard the ferry Finnpartner and the Futuro was located on the upper deck just in front of the twin smoke stacks. This is a 32" x 24" poster print of a photograph of the Finnpartner at its mooring next to Tower Bridge.
The photo below is not a photo of the actual poster, we could not seem to get a good shot, but rather a digital image from which the poster was printed. In due course this item will be framed and at that time we will replace the photo below with a photo of the actual item.
During its time on Morey's Pier the Futuro served as a part of several rides (chronologically the rides were Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, Star Wars and finally The Empire Strikes Back).
This 35mm slide shows the Futuro at Morey's Pier during the time it was a part of either the Planet of the Apes ride or the Star Wars ride (based on the color of the unit as compared to photos of the various rides which can be found in the Seaside Heights section of the "Lost Souls" page). The Futuro is largely obscured but still clearly visible (and highlighted in the photo below)