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 The Charles Cleworth Futuro House Archive

Charles CleworthThe late Charles Cleworth was a long time entrepreneur and a significant investor in the Futuro House in the US. "Back in the day" Charles was the President of the Futuro Corporation Of Colorado and during the course of his involvement with the Futuro House he accumulated and stored many documents, letters, plans, drawings and other items associated with the Futuro House and the Futuro Corporation Of Colorado.

In email correspondence about this archive Charles Cleworth's son Monty wrote of his father that:

"He and some other investors bought all the forms used for the molding of the plastic and were doing production here in Colorado. I remember visiting the plant on S. Santa Fe Street in Denver. He had been in the plastics field as a publisher of magazines and had also tried his hand at manufacturing a plastic bumper (also with no financial success)."

Charles Cleworth's family decided to pass this important Futuro archive to TheFuturoHouse.com to be preserved and catalogued. We are sure Futuro aficionados everywhere will join us in thanking the Cleworth family for their generous bequest. Cataloguing and presenting these documents here not only adds significantly to the documented history of the Futuro but also recognizes Charles Cleworth as one of the farsighted individuals who gave us all Futuro in the first place.

A Few Notes On The Presentation Of The Archive
  • The images displayed on this page are photos of the actual items and documents in the archive. With the exception of particularly large documents (some architectural plans for example) there will also be links to pdf files.
  • Some items appear twice. For example architectural plans that were part of a document package will be included in the listing for that package but also included in the section containing all architectural plans.
  • All of the documents in the archive are from either the very late 60's or the 70's. The Cleworth family has given their consent to the archive being catalogued and displayed here. Some of the documents included in the archive reference individuals and companies other than Charles Cleworth and the Futuro Corporation of Colorado. Given the age of this material we believe it is unlikely that any of the material remains sensitive or personal (though any that did appear to be so even after 40 plus years was excluded from these pages). That said if anyone sees anything here referencing themselves or their family members that they would like removed please let us know.
Sections Of The Archive
The Charles Cleworth Futuro House Archive Next Section | Press & Media Previous Section | Sales & Marketing


WestPoint Pepperell Foam House Photos | Undated

In a late 1970 Stock Offering Prospectus the Futuro Corporation Of Colorado defines its purpose as to:

"... buy, sell, trade, lease, distribute, construct, manufacture, dispose of, acquire and generally deal in, at wholesale and retail, all types of houses, buildings and structures ..."

The archive contains various materials related to houses and structures other than Futuro and the WestPoint Pepperell Foam House is one of them. It is unclear whether the materials related to this particular structure are in the archive because it was seen as a "competitor", as something the company were considering getting involved with or simply as general information related to the company's core field of operations. That said this WestPoint Pepperell press release indicates that the structure was built as a show home and contains no indication it was something they intended to "produce" so it seems likely this material is just "informational".

Constructed by the textile company WestPoint Pepperell and located in the Chattahoochee River Valley the foam house was constructed as a show house to demonstrate the company's product versatility. The house was made of polyurethane foam which was sprayed onto a series of domes constructed using heavy industrial nylon fabric supported by balloons which were subsequently deflated.

Most of the furniture in the house was built in and the show house was also used to feature and showcase many of the company's products including carpeting, rugs, wall hanging, towels, sheets and blankets.

This series of ten 11" x 8½" photos (pdf), each with attached descriptive text, provides a great look at both the exterior and the interior of the WestPoint Pepperell Foam House.

The archive also contained three press releases related to the WestPoint Pepperell Foam house which can be found here, here and here.

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Main 1 Text

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Main 2 Text

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Main 1 Photo

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Main 2 Photo

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Sun Dish Text

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Living Area Text

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Sun Dish Photo

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Living Area Photo

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Dining Area Text

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Kitchen Text

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Dining Area Photo

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Kitchen Photo

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Master Bedroom Text

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Kids Bedroom Text

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Master Bedroom Photo

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Kids Bedroom Photo

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Bathroom Text

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Corridor Text

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Bathroom Photo

WestPoint Pepperell House Photos - Corridor Photo

In addition to WestPoint Pepperell Foam House the archive also contains materials relating to the O'Dome and the SpaceShell.

Futuro Corp. Platform (Futuro?) House | June 1973

This pair of letters (pdf) dating from June 1973 relate to an inquiry about Futuro Houses from one Jeff Wachter from Bismark, North Dakota. There was clearly other correspondence prior to these two letters as the first, dated 061573, from Wachter to Charles Cleworth is thanking Cleworth for sending photographs (we did not find the earlier correspondence in the archive) and asking for prices.

The response to Wachter, dated 061973, is interesting in that it is on letterhead for Plastics, Machinery & Equipment Magazine and not that of The Futuro Corporation Of Colorado. Of course this may mean nothing, Cleworth was also a magazine publisher, but it could indicate that by mid-1973 the Futuro Corporation Of Colorado was no longer in business in its own right.

The response, sent to Wachter on behalf of Cleworth by his secretary, tells us that at the time:

"The ellipse house sells for $12,000 and the house on the platform sells for $7,000 (shell only)."

There is no indication as to whether or not a sale actually resulted from this correspondence and we have never seen a report of a Futuro in North Dakota.

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Letter To Company

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Letter To Client

There were no photographs in the envelope that contained the letters but there were several photographs and negatives elsewhere in the archive (actually in three separate folders with no related materials) that fit the description "house on the platform" and while we cannot be certain it does seem reasonable to think that these photographs are related.

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Photo RearThe 4¼" by 3¼" photograph at left shows a structure that appears to be the top half of a Futuro mounted on a wooden platform. No windows are visible and not all of the sections are the same color.

The next two photographs, 5" by 3½", are one interior and one exterior shot of a similar looking structure. It is unclear based on the angles from which the photographs were shot whether the first photograph and the second two shots are of the same unit though the "landscape" does appear to be the same.

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Photo Exterior

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Photo Interior

Finally there is this set of negatives that show a similar structure. None of the negatives are those for the photographs and the height of the platform above the land appears to be less that that seen in the exterior photograph. In addition all of the segments of the structure appear to be finished in white suggesting these negatives probably depict a second structure at a different location (or perhaps even the same structure refinished and relocated).

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 1

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 1

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 2

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 2

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 3

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 3

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 4

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 4

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 5

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 5

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 6

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Platform (Futuro) House - June 1973 - Negatives 6

This much earlier and unrelated letter (062471) may also reference this structure. The letter, from Charles Cleworth, discusses the potential sale of an "ellipsodal" (quoted spelling) house. In that letter Cleworth also indicates that the "ellipsodal" house was being offered at a low price because they were "moving on to a new design" and Cleworth refers to this as their new "three-quarter" house.

That characterization would certainly fit the structure seen in these photographs and negatives as it does appear to be constructed of six of the eight standard upper segments of a "classic" Futuro.

The archive also contained (in a separate manila envelope with no identification or associated documents) this hand painted artist's impression of a very similar structure to that seen in these photographs and negatives.

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado Photographs | Undated

This set of twenty 4¼" x 2½" photographs (pdf1 | pdf2) was found in an envelope with no documentation. Four of the photographs have the date 092470 handwritten on the back; there are no markings on the remainder. Eight of the photographs were used in a Stock Offering Prospectus issued by the Futuro Corporation Of Colorado.

The photographs are displayed in the order they were found in the archive and they appear to document Futuro Corporation Of Colorado activity from the creation of master molds through assembly of the first prototype built by the company. The photographs that carry a date on the back depict the radial support structure for the floor, the assembled lower half of the Futuro with the steps installed and the upper half of the Futuro with the windows already cut out shot from inside. The photo of the fully assembled unit is undated but is presumably from around October 1970.

The envelope that contained these photographs also contained, with no documentation explaining its presence, this slide showing a model of the CF-45 Venturo House.

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 1

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 2

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 3

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 4

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 5

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 6

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 7

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 8

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 9

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 10

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 11

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 12

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 13

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 14

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 15

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 16

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 17

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 18

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 19

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Set Of 20 Photographs - 20

Futuro #000 Turenki 35mm Slide | Undated

Slide - TurenkiThis slide showing a white Futuro House is not identified and was not associated with any other items in the archive.

That said and given the appearance of the location and of the Futuro it looks like it is a slide showing the original Futuro prototype, Futuro #000, now located at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam in its original location on a ski slope on the property of Jaakko Hiidenkari in Turenki, Finland (this press photograph and this postcard from our personal collection show Futuro #000 in Turenki and certainly to us the comparisons make us believe this slide is also of Turenki).

This photograph is one of the ones included in this Futuro Corporation Of Colorado sales brochure which was located elsewhere in the archive.

Slide - Turenki - Detail

Colorado Garden & Home Show Photos | February 1970

In this late 1970 Stock Offering Prospectus we learn that the Futuro Corporation Of Colorado was invited to display a Futuro at the Colorado Garden And Home Show at the Currigan Convention Center in Denver, Colorado in February 1970.

The Colorado company had already been let down once by the Futuro Corporation Of Philadelphia when they failed to deliver a Futuro House to the Colorado company for display at the department store May-Daniels & Fisher in Denver but Leonard Fruchter was again contacted and a Futuro House was promised for the Garden & Home show.

However the Philadelphia Company again failed to deliver and a small model of a Futuro had to be displayed at the show instead. According to the Stock Offering Prospectus Cleworth believed several potential sales were lost as a result and this was the start of the decline of the relationship between the two companies.

These two 3½" x 3½" photographs (pdf) are from the Garden & Home Show. The first clearly shows the model of the Futuro that was displayed instead of an actual Futuro. It is not hard to understand why Cleworth would feel that sales might have been lost; the impact of the model seen in the photo on a prospective customer would clearly have been far less than the impact of visiting a full size Futuro.

The second photo is a little hard to make out but we believe it shows a couple of displays with Futuro photographs and information.

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Futuro Exhibit - Colorado Garden & Home Show February 1970 - 1

Futuro Corporation Of Colorado - Futuro Exhibit - Colorado Garden & Home Show February 1970 - 2

There are several other items in the archive relating to the Garden & Home show including the 020870 issue of the Denver Post, a flyer advertising the show and a window poster for the show.

In addition our collection of Futuro items and memorabilia contains an original press photograph (which actually featured Futuro #000 at the time in Turenki, Finland) relating to the Garden & Home show.

Futuro #001 Hirvensalmi Two Slides | Undated Likely 1968

The two 35mm slides shown below were in a small envelope and they were not obviously associated with any of the other items in the archive. They clearly show Futuro #001 in Hirvensalmi, Finland (Futuro #001 is now located at the WeeGee Exhibition Center in Espoo, Finland).

We do not possess a slide projector and taking clear photographs of these slides is proving a challenge, at least so far, so the images here are not particularly clear but it appears to us that these photographs may well have been taken in 1968 during the construction of Futuro #001 on site in Hirvensalmi. At some point we will find the right method to create clear images from these slides and update them here.

Hirvensalmi [During Construction?] - Slide 1

Hirvensalmi [During Construction?] - Slide 2

Hirvensalmi [During Construction?] - Slide 1 Detail

Hirvensalmi [During Construction?] - Slide 2 Detail

CF-45 Venturo House Model 35mm Slide | Undated

Slide - Model Of Venturo HouseThis undated slide shows a model of the CF-45 Venturo.

The Futuro Corporation of Colorado states (this Stock Offering Prospectus refers) that the company was interested in all types of structure not just Futuro so it is not surprising to find this item in the archive. That said it was found in the same envelope that contained this set of Futuro photographs with nothing to indicate why it was there.

Slide - Model Of Venturo House - Detail

City Federal Savings "Spacebank" Interior | 072872

On 060272 a Futuro "Spacebank" was airlifted into the parking lot of the Woodbridge Shopping Center in Woodbridge, New Jersey where it was to serve as a branch of the City Federal Savings & Loan.

This 072872 package of publicity materials distributed by Leonard Fruchter of the Futuro Corporation Of Philadelphia included a press clipping reporting on the event from the July 1972 issue of the National League Journal. That article included an interior shot of the "Spacebank" and this is a print and negatives of that photograph (that were found in a completely unrelated file in the archive).

Spacebank Interior - Photo

Spacebank Interior - Negative

Spacebank Interior - Negative

CF-100 Gulf Service Station Under Construction | Undated

In a 120470 letter to Charles Cleworth Polykem proposed a business arrangement that would involve the licensing in the US of Polykem's "new house" along with the CF-100 to the Futuro Corporation Of Colorado. That letter was accompanied by several other letters and documents.

These two photographs (pdf) were among those documents. The photographs, one in color and one in black and white (5' square and 4¾" square respectively), show a CF-200 Service Station, essentially two CF-100's, under construction. The Service Station is branded Gulf. The location and date are unknown.

Gulf CF100 - Under Construction - Location & Date Unknown - 1

Gulf CF100 - Under Construction - Location & Date Unknown - 2

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