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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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. The collection currently comprises a little under 450 physical items plus various "digital" items (in particular digital copies of newspaper articles) and these pages are effectively the collection's "catalog".

Additional items can also be found in The Charles Cleworth Futuro House Archive and in several smaller collections and archives.

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  • Out Of Date Item Descriptions: Item descriptions were accurate at the time collection items were acquired but may have become outdated since.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.
Sections Of The Collection

Magazines P-S

Listed below are magazines (titles P-S) related to Futuro included in this collection.

Latest Update(s)/Addition(s) ***
  1. Paris Match | #3078 | 051508 | French | Purchased 040214
  2. Playboy | September 1970 Issue | Purchased 080212
  3. Playboy | September/October 2018 Issue | Purchased 102918
  4. Popular Science | March 1970 Issue | Purchased 092912
  5. Popular Science | February 1984 Issue | Purchased 100312
  6. Preservation: The Magazine Of The National Trust For Historic Preservation | March/April 2003 Issue | Purchased 030514
  7. Private | Issue #17 1970 | Purchased 022112
  8. Projector | Issue 18 2012 | Russian | Received 042713
  9. Projector | Issue 29 2015 | Russian | Purchased 010717
  10. Purple Fashion Magazine | Volume III Issue 20 Fall/Winter 2013/14 | Purchased 110913
  11. *** Purple Fashion Magazine | Volume IV Issue 32 The Cosmos Issue | Purchased 100619
  12. Riksettan | Issue 1 2010 | Swedish | Purchased 090114
  13. Riksettan | Issue 1 2011| Swedish | Purchased 091514
  14. Science & Mechanics | January 1970 Issue | Purchased 102812
  15. Scenario | January 2011 Issue | Purchased 091612
  16. Sleek | #51 | Autumn 2016 Issue | Purchased 010717
  17. Stell | Issue XIII 2018 | Purchased 042618
  18. Suomen Historian | 7/2016 Issue | Finnish | Purchased 032118
  19. Suomen Kuvalehti | 102568 Issue | Finnish | Purchased 043019
  20. Suomen Kuvalehti | 062571 Issue | Finnish | Purchased 032118
  21. Suomen Kuvalehti | 061512 Issue | Finnish | Purchased 040417
  22. Suomen Kuvalehti | 110113 Issue | Finnish | Purchased 040417
  23. Suomen Kuvalehti | 013015 Issue | Finnish | Purchased 040417

Paris Match - #3078/051508 | Purchased 040214

Paris Match Issue 3078 CoverTranslateLong running French Lifestyle magazine Paris Match covers national and international news, local events, celebrity lifestyles and much more.

Issue #3078 from 051508 contains a short article on the Saint-Ouen Futuro accompanied by a single photograph. Given the date of the magazine the photograph must have been taken shortly after the Futuro was restored.

Paris Match Issue 3078 Page 136

Playboy - September/October 2018 | Purchased 102918

The September/October 2018 Issue of Playboy magazine included a multi page article on Teyana Taylor. The photo shoot for the article took place at Mark Haddawy's home, the Harpel House, which is of course also home to the LA Futuro. One of the photos that accompany the article features the Futuro.

This is the second time a Playboy issue has featured a Futuro; the first, an article titled "Portable Playhouse", was included in the September 1970 issue and on that occasion the Futuro was the subject and not just a backdrop.

Playboy - September/October 2018 Issue - Cover

Playboy - September/October 2018 Issue Page 63

Popular Science - February 1984 | Purchased 100312

The Futuro House inspired several very simlar projects over the years and one of them was the Tony Gilbert designed Aqaushel which could be described as a floating Futuro "look alike".

The February 1984 issue of Popular Science included a short article on the Aquashel. The article does not indicate whether Gilbert was inspired by the Futuro but it seems, based on the evidence, that we can assume that "beyond a reasonable doubt" (to use a term nore normally associated with the legal system).

The article tells us that Aquashel, much like Futuro, was designed for ease of production and transport, on site assembly and that it was constructed from 20 (unlike Futuro's 16) primary shell segments. Once you take that information and then take a look at a photo, for us at least, the Futuro influence is evident.

Aquashell cost between £40,000 and £60,000 so it was more costly than Futuro (though it was also some 10 or so years later) and was designed to be located on water rather than land.

Popular Science 1984 Cover

Popular science 1984 Page 67

Preservation - March/April 2003 | Purchased 030514

Page 13 of the March/April 2003 issue of Preservation (The Magazine Of The National Trust For Historic Preservation) includes a short article about Wayne Donaldson's Idyllwild Futuro.

Donaldson purchased the San Diego Futuro and it was then moved to a temporary location for refurbishment prior to its final move to its current location in Idyllwild. The photograph that accompanies the article shows the Futuro at the temporary location prior to refurbishment (the Futuro is still finished in green at the time).

Preservation Cover

Preservation Page 13

Projector - #18/2012 | Received 042713

Projector Magazine Issue 18 2012 CoverTranslateThe Russian design magazine Projector featured an article about the Futuro House in Issue 18, 2012. The article spans 6 pages and features several photos. Of course we have no idea what the article actually says as the text is in Russian and this has been added to our growing list of items we will have to get translated at some point. The article can also be found online here.

One interesting take away from this article is a photo of a brochure which lists IFO Promotions as a contact for Futuro House information. We know very little about this companies involvement with the Futuro House; the only previous reference we have seen to it was in an answer by Karen Samples of the Cincinnati Enquirer to a readers question about the Covington Futuro.

We want to extend a big thank you to Mitya Kharshak, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Projector Magazine, for sending us a copy of this issue of the publication.

The Futuro House also featured in Issue 29 (2015) of Projector.

Projector Magazine Issue 18 2012 Pages 56-57

Projector Magazine Issue 18 2012 Pages 58-59

Projector Magazine Issue 18 2012 Pages 60-61

Purple - #20/Fall-Winter 2013-14 | Purchased 110913

Purple Fashion Magazine Volume III Issue 20 Fall/Winter 2013/14 - CoverWe had always thought that the Los Angeles Futuro was the one that had been located in Bailey, Colorado until 2009 based on timing and photographic evidence but we could not be 100% sure.

In an interview on pages 420-423 of Issue 20 (Fall/Winter 2013/14) of the French Fashion Magazine Purple owner Mark Haddawy confirms that his Futuro is the Bailey unit and indicates he has spent the last four years restoring the unit after buying it in a (2009) "design auction".

The relevant interview question and answer reads as follows:

"OLIVIER ZAHM - Can you tell us about the '70s bubble house?
MARK HADDAWY - Matti Suuronen designed the Futuro house in 1968. I bought it in a design auction and had it moved to Los Angeles from Colorado. I've spent the last four years restoring it.
"

The interview is also accompanied by a couple of photographs that show the Futuro located on the hill behind the John Lautner designed Willis Harper House.

Purple Fashion Magazine Volume III Issue 20 Fall/Winter 2013/14 | Pages 420-421

Purple Fashion Magazine Volume III Issue 20 Fall/Winter 2013/14 | Pages 422-423

Purple - #32/The Cosmos Issue | Purchased 100619

Issue #32 - The Cosmos Issue of the French Fashion publication Purple includes, on pages 452 through 457, an article titled "Living In A Bubble" which features the Futuro House and the Bolwoningen Community, a collection of 50 or so spherical houses designed by Dries Kreijkamp.

The text is brief and provides no new information regarding the Futuro but the article includes some great photos of the Los Angeles Futuro.

The publication is almost not a magazine, it is over 500 pages, hard cover bound and actually looks and feels much more like a coffee table book than a magazine.

Purple Fashion Magazine Volume IV Issue 32 The Cosmos Issue - Cover

Purple Fashion Magazine Volume IV Issue 32 The Cosmos Issue - Page 452

Purple Fashion Magazine Volume IV Issue 32 The Cosmos Issue - Page 457

Purple Fashion Magazine Volume IV Issue 32 The Cosmos Issue - Page 457

Riksettan - #1/2011 | Purchased 091514

TranslateIn the 1/2011 Issue of Swedish magazine Riksettan there are three small sections that mention the Futuro two of which are reader's letters written in response to an article on Venturo and Futuro Houses in the 1/2010 issue of the publication.

In a reader's letter on page 60 Martin indicates that he works at Såtenäs. He goes on to indicate that some 18 months prior he had actually been up in the Futuro there and he reports that the unit remains in good condition. He also sent a photo, included in the magazine, of the Futuro at Såtenäs which he shot the day he wrote to the magazine; presumably sometime in 2011.

In a second reader's letter on page 61 Lennart Andersson recalls how at one time his company was considering the purchase of a Futuro but that never came to fruition. He also sent a copy of the postcard which shows the Ekå Futuro referenced in the "Finnish 20" article; we feel a quest coming on - that needs to be in our collection.

Finally, on page 92, in a section of the magazine about Venturo we find references again to the Såtenäs Futuro along with mention of the book PreFab Houses written by Arnt Cobbers & Oliver Jahn which features a Futuro on the cover and includes a multi-page chapter on Futuro.

Riksettan 1/2011 Cover

Riksettan 1/2011 Page 60

Riksettan 1/2011 Page 61

Riksettan 1/2011 Page 92

Science & Mechanics - January 1970 | Purchased 102812

Science & Mechanics January 1970 CoverScience and Mechanics was a cool little magazine that was started by writer, editor, inventor and entrepreneur Hugo Gernsback. Initially titled Everyday Mechanics, it became Everyday Science and Mechanics in 1931. In 1937 the name was shortened to Science & Mechanics and it was published until 1984 under that final title.

In the January 1970 issue of the magazine we find an interesting multi-page article on the Futuro House titled "Instant Leisure Home". The article is, unlike many we have seen, very forthright in its appraisal of the Futuro.

Among other comments criticisms were aimed at statements that the Futuro could accommodate eight people with the article suggesting four was a much more reasonable number (an idea we have to say we completely agree with), at the lack of storage, at the cost of transporting a Futuro and at the base cost per square foot. The article even described the kitchen and bathroom as being more akin to the galley and head on an airplane or boat.

Perhaps the most interesting statement though relates to planned Futuro production; we read that:

"Production was recently begun in the United States, with 10,000 units scheduled to be turned out here in 1970."

As we all know reality turned out to be a radically different from that lofty and ambitious goal.

Science & Mechanics January 1970 Page 38

Science & Mechanics January 1970 Page 39

Science & Mechanics January 1970 Page 40

Science & Mechanics January 1970 Page 92

Stell - XIII/2018 | Purchased 042618

Issue XIII 2018 of fashion magazine Stell included a multi-page shoot titled "Brave New World" that featured the Canberra University Futuro as a backdrop.

Stell - Issue XIII - Cover

Stell - Issue XIII - Pages 80

Stell - Issue XIII - Pages 82-83

Stell - Issue XIII - Pages 84-85

Stell - Issue XIII - Pages 86-87

Suomen Kuvalehti - 062571 | Purchased 032118

TranslateSuomen Kuvalehti is a weekly Finnish language family and news magazine published in Helsinki, Finland.

The 062571 issue of the publication includes a photo of the Pöytyä Futuro back in the early 70's when it was located in Luumäki. There is no obvious mention of the Futuro that we can see in the text but we do not yet have a translation so there may be information contained in the magazine that we have yet to "reveal".

Suomen Kuvalehti - 062571 Issue - Cover

Suomen Kuvalehti - 062571 Issue -  Page 16

Suomen Kuvalehti - 110113 | Purchased 040417

Suomen Kuvalehti 110113 - CoverTranslateSuomen Kuvalehti is a weekly Finnish language family and news magazine published in Helsinki, Finland.

The 110113 issue includes an article on Mika Taanila on pages 64-65. Taanila of course directed the film "Futuro: A New Stance for Tomorrow" and co-edited the iconic book "Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday" along with Marko Home.

Suomen Kuvalehti 110113 -  Pages 64-65

Playboy - September 1970 | Purchased 080212

The September 1970 issue of Playboy Magazine featured one of the best known articles on the Futuro House, "Portable Playhouse", and may have been, at least in part, responsible for increased interest in the Futuro House in the US during the early 1970's.

There was even a Futuro House at the Playboy Club at Lake Geneva near Janesville, WI for a year. For more information on that see A Letter To Annabelle and the Janesville Futuro.

Playboy Cover

Playboy Page 179

Playboy Page 180-181

Popular Science - March 1970 | Purchased 092912

The Futuro House is one of several "Vacation Homes You Buy By Mail" discussed in an article published in the March 1970 issue of Popular Science. A photograph of Futuro #001, at the time located in Hirvensalmi, Finland and now at the WeeGee Exhibition Center, Espoo, Finland accompanies a short write up.

The article lists the cost of a "shell" at $10,000 and the cost of a fully equipped unit at $14,000. The article also includes one interesting fact we had not seen anywhere else; it states that the shell comes in 16 pieces and that "... a total of 704 pieces provides the built-in furnishings."

The "PS Buyers Guide To Vacation Homes" on Page 92 provides the following details for the Futuro House:
  • Maker | Futuro Corp, 1900 Rittenhouse Sq., Philadelphia, PA 19103
  • Primary Area | U.S. and Caribbean
  • Construction | Squat fiberglass globe
  • Form Offered | Builder-Erected, Finished
  • Remarks | Flying saucer house, furnished and carpeted, may arrive by truck, barge or helicopter
The mention of the caribbean is interesting; though there are, as we all know, several Futuro Houses in the US we have never heard of one ever being in the Caribbean at any time. Presumably while the geographical area was licensed it was never exploited.

Popular Science 1970 Cover

Popular Science 1970 Page 90

Popular Science 1970 Page 92

Private - #17/1970 | Purchased 022114

Private 17 - Cover Private Magazine was established in Stockholm, Sweden in 1965 as the world's first full-color hardcore magazine by Berth Milton, Sr.

The 1970 Issue 17 included a 22 page story titled "The Goddesses Of Galaxia" about the (not unsurprisingly given the nature of the publication) sexual exploits of some rather attractive and very human looking aliens on Earth. A Futuro House is their "spaceship" and provides the backdrop for the "action".

The photography that accompanies the story is almost all entirely unsuitable for this website but a couple of pages are just about acceptable for display here and are shown below.

Private 17 | 1

Private 17 | 2

Private 17 | 3

Projector - #29/2015 | Purchased 010717

Update 030417

Looks like the photo of Turenki included in the Futuro article in this magazine is actually photoshopped to show the entrance and lower viewing windows. More information can be found here.

Original Information 020417

Projector Magazine Issue 29 2015 CoverTranslateThe Russian design magazine Projector featured an article about the Futuro House in Issue 29, 2015. The article spans 6 pages and features several vintage photos including photos of Dombai and Turenki.

Futuro also features in the cover graphics (repeated on the contents page; page 2) and page 1 includes a photo/graphic that relates to the exhibition Golden Generation. Modernism in Finnish Architecture and Design that ran 111415 through 013116 at the The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Of course we have no idea what the article actually says as the text is in Russian and this has been added to the ever growing list of things we will have to get translated at some point. The article can also be found online here.

The Futuro House also featured in Issue 18 (2012) of Projector.

Projector Magazine Issue 29 2015 Page 1

Projector Magazine Issue 29 2015 Page 2

Projector Magazine Issue 29 2015 Pages 82-83

Projector Magazine Issue 29 2015 Pages 84-85

Projector Magazine Issue 29 2015 Pages 86-87

Riksettan - #1/2010 | Purchased 090114

Riksettan 1/2010 CoverTranslateThe 1/2010 Issue of Swedish magazine Riksettan includes an eight page article on Futuro and Venturo Houses. Several Futuros are mentioned in the text and there are photographs of the Aland Islands, Orebro and Wanli units.

The article is largely the generic and standard Futuro commentary but there are a couple of interesting items. Among them this paragraph (translation by Google Translate):

"A Futuro became office in Solna. In Düsseldorf, Germany, it was used as the youth farm, on the Black Sea as homes, offices in England and in New Jersey (USA) as a bank."

The mention of Dusseldorf is interesting, we are aware of Charles Wilp's Futuro (now destroyed) that was located in Wittlaer, Düsseldorf but not of another unit in that area.

The Black Sea reference is almost certainly to the units purchased by Sputnik and the bank reference to New Jersey likely refers to the unit now in Willingboro, NJ.

The reference to units used as offices in England is also intriguing; we are aware of only a single unit in the UK, the now lost Todmorden Futuro, yet this uses the term "offices". We would probably have ignored that except for the coincidence of another reference to possible multiple Futuros in England coming up this week; see the Todmorden Futuro for details.

It is the Solna reference that is perhaps most interesting and there is other information relevant to this; the article also includes this photo and there is a suggestion that the Futuro in the photo is the one now located in Orebro and therein lies a "new" Futuro mystery. For more details see the "Finnish 20".

Riksettan 1/2010 Pages 80-81

Riksettan 1/2010 Pages 82-83

Riksettan 1/2010 Pages 84-85

Riksettan 1/2010 Pages 86-87

Scenario - January 2011 | Purchased 091612

Scenario CoverThe January 2011 issue of Scenario Magazine featured a short article with a little general Futuro history and one image. The article was extremely general in nature and did not provide and new or particularly interesting Futuro history or information.

The one image was of a 1969 event we like to call "The Sandbox" wherein a series of Futuro models were set up in a "sandbox" environment and photographed. These photographs are often reproduced and are perhaps among the most "iconic" of all Futuro images.

Scenario Pages 70-71

Sleek - #51/Autumn 2016 | Purchased 010717

The Autumn 16 issue (#51) of Berlin based fashion magazine Sleek includes an article about the retirement of Willie Walters, director of the fashion program at Central St. Martins. Craig Barnes "Futuro 22" is, at the time of writing, located on the Central St. Martins campus in London and one of the photos that accompanies the article shows Willie Walters standing out front of the Futuro.

Sleek Magazine Autumn 2016 - Cover

Sleek Magazine Autumn 2016 - Page 116

Suomen Historian - #7/2016 | Purchased 032118

Suomen Historian - 7/2016 Issue - CoverTranslateThe 7/2016 issue of Finnish publication Suomen Historian includes an article on Matti Suuronen which references Polykem, Futuro and Venturo.

The article includes several photos, among them a photo of Futuro #000 during its time in Turenki, a photo of Suuronen at the Polykem manufacturing plant and a generic interior shot of a Futuro.

Suomen Historian - 7/2016 Issue - Pages 26-27

Suomen Historian - 7/2016 Issue - Pages 28-29

Suomen Kuvalehti - 102568 | Purchased 043019

TranslateSuomen Kuvalehti is a weekly Finnish language family and news magazine published in Helsinki, Finland.

Page 55 of the 102568 issue of the publication included a full page article on the 1968 exhibition Finnfocus aboard the ferry Finnpartner which had sailed to London, England and moored near Tower Bridge for the event. Onboard the Finnpartner was Futuro #002 (now located in Matsalu, Estonia). The article includes one photo of the Futuro with a large group of people "posed" in front of the Futuro.

The article is of course in Finnish and until we have the opportunity to get it translated we cannot say whether it contains any "new" information or who the group of people posing with the Futuro might be (though we suspect it may be a group of people associated with the exhibition; guides or "hosts" of some sort perhaps).

Suomen Kuvalehti - 102568 Issue - Cover

Suomen Kuvalehti - 102568 Issue -  Page 55

Suomen Kuvalehti - 061512 | Purchased 040417

TranslateSuomen Kuvalehti is a weekly Finnish language family and news magazine published in Helsinki, Finland.

The 061512 issue contains a brief article on page 65 titled "Luomalle muotoilu-Helsonkiin" ("Creating Design For Helsinki" according to Google Translate) which briefly mentions the Futuro House. There are no photos.

Suomen Kuvalehti 061512 - Cover

Suomen Kuvalehti 061512 -  Page 65

Suomen Kuvalehti - 013015 | Purchased 040417

TranslateSuomen Kuvalehti is a weekly Finnish language family and news magazine published in Helsinki, Finland.

In the 110113 issue on page 64-65 there is an article titled "Minimalismin murtajat" ("Breakers Of Minimalism" according to Google Translate) which briefly mentions Futuro and Matti Suuronen. There are no photos.

Suomen Kuvalehti 013015 - Cover

Suomen Kuvalehti 013015 -  Page 63

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