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.
During a recent road trip we were fortunate enough to be able to visit several Futuros; Carlisle, Covington and this one in Danvers. This brought the total number of Futuros we have visited in person to 15½.
Rich Pisani the owner was kind enough to take time out of his day to visit with us and to allow us to take a look at the interior of the Futuro; we cannot thank you enough Rich!
During our conversation with Rich we chatted about one of the issues Futuro owners have suffered from over the years that being folks who drive past and see a Futuro just jumping onto people's property to investigate without even asking permission. We have never quite understood this and we are sure most of those who do this would be angry if anyone did this at their own home.
Anyway this issue was so prevalent that Rich was forced to plant trees around the Futuro in order to make it "invisible" from the street. It actually makes for a rather unique location and the entry way is rather cool sitting behind a short "tunnel" through the trees.
Rich confirmed the previously documented history of the Futuro and recalled in detail the 7 mile trip from Heritage Lake to Danvers when he purchased the Futuro in 1998 telling us that the roads were closed a mile at a time for the journey by flatbed.
Perhaps the most interesting anecdote related to Rich's interactions with the power company when he tried to get the right permits and permissions for the move. The power company just told Rich that he should just have someone with a pole able to "lift" power lines where necessary for the Futuro to get underneath. The photo added to this page back on 040920 coincidentally shows that exact advice in process.
Somewhere along the line a transformer or other equipment blew as a result of this process and the power company actually tried to hold Rich accountable for damages. Of course they failed given he had done exactly as they instructed and he recalls that the power company actually rewrote guidelines for its employees for dealing with situations where permitting or advice was needed for extraordinary transports to prevent this from ever happening again.
Richard also mentioned that his Futuro is complete with all of the original factory installed fixtures and fittings, very cool to see that in another Futuro; there are of course several but many of the remaining Futuros are missing some if not all of the original fixtures and fittings.
This photo was taken in 1998; it shows this Futuro on a flatbed making the move from Heritage Lake to Danvers. Very interesting to note the guy in the bucket truck having to lift wires out of the way so the Futuro could pass.
Our thanks to Pam Wassi for sending us this great photo.
Back on 021516 we added some photos from owner Rich Pisani's Facebook to this page relating to the filming of footage for a music video using his Futuro as a backdrop. What we missed at the time was the awesome video below; nice footage of the Futuro and also great time lapse of a controlled burn. Musician Bog Bogaert describes it this way:
"Rockin' out atop the IGHQ with the Johnson, 6-string and the mandolin. Time lapse vid of the controlled burn in yes March of 2012. The phone took a picture every 3 seconds and this is what it looked like when they all went together. Thanks Brother Rich Pisani!"
Owner Rich Pisani has confirmed that his Futuro did indeed come from the Mackinaw, IL location discussed in the last update.
The "Myths and Legends" page carries details of reported Futuro locations that we have been unable to confirm. One such entry was for a report of a Futuro that used to be located "on a small lake near Mackinaw, Illinois". Recently Paul sent us an email in which he confirmed a Futuro at that location. Paul wrote:
"I can 100% confirm that there was indeed a Futuro house in the lake community (Heritage Lake) just outside of the town of Mackinaw IL. As a kid my family owned property at the lake and every summer we would go camping there and every summer we'd make a little trip down the side roads to see the "flying saucer house" ... It was used as a little summer getaway "cabin". Whenever we would visit the owners were never there. I always hoped to see the inside. It was perched on the side of a hill (overlooking the water). Going up the hill a bit we could get close to being level with the porthole windows but they were always covered with curtains so we never could see anything inside ... It was light blue ..."
Paul also attached a Google Map highlighting the location he recalled the Futuro being at and a few minutes in Google Earth and its historical satellite imagery confirmed the exact location (40°32'43.39"N 89°19'49.65"W) as of 041898 which can be seen in the screenshot below.
In a subsequent email Paul referenced this section of the previous (090213) update in this page:
"In addition the last photograph shows the Futuro in a clearly different location; since it is included in the "My Futuro" gallery I am assuming that this image shows the Futuro at its previous (unknown) location."
Paul suggested that the Futuro on Heritage Lake might be Rich Pisani's Futuro writing:
"I think that the Danvers IL Futuro might be the same as the Mackinaw IL (Heritage Lake) Futuro. that last picture shows it on a hill with trees - that is exactly how it was perched near the lake. That pic would have been taken from a bit downhill looking up (away from the lake) at the house. I know it was mounted on cylindrical concrete piers that stuck up out of the ground at least a couple feet, as a kid I crawled around under the "UFO". Also consider that its current location is just up the road from the lake location."
Given that Rich Pisani purchased his Futuro in 1997 after having seen it on a lake in Illinois, the proximity of Heritage Lake to Danvers (just around 10 miles or so apart), the fact that Google Earth imagery later than 1998 shows that the Futuro had been removed from Heritage Lake and Paul's recollection that the Heritage Lake Futuro was light blue in it seems highly likely that Heritage Lake was indeed the previous location of this Futuro.
In the 021516 update to this page we added some photos from owner Rich Pisani taken during a video shoot for Glenn Symmonds. At the time we had not found the actual video. Shortly afterwards Rich emailed us with the link to the video on Youtube. The video, for Glenn Symmonds track "I'm Missing You" is below. The Futuro shows up in the video several times starting at 3:16 and it also features in the credits. Thanks for the link Rich.
Facebook is pretty much the dominant "sharing medium" on Planet Earth these days and owner Rich Pisani shared the photos below showing before and after a fall 2015 "facelift" his Futuro received. The new paint job looks awesome. Rich I hope you do not mind me "extending" your sharing here; let me know if you do.
Also from Rich's Facebook are the photos below which were posted October 2015. Rich comments on the photos this way:
"Thanks goes out to Brother Bob Bogaert and local music legend Bill Porter for sending Movie First Productions my way. They are shooting a music video for/with Glenn Symmonds (solo project) the drummer for Eddie Money's band, and asked to use the Futuro. Got a chance to use my lighting and hazer. Here are some photos I took."
So far we have not been able to find the actual video anywhere. If anyone comes across it please let us know. We can be contacted directly by email or you via our Contact Form.
Websites and webpages come and go and sometimes interesting pages can no longer be accessed. Case in point the photo galleries on futuro-house.net. However with the help of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine sometimes pages that have "gone the way of the dinosaur" are archived and can still be accessed. The photos at below are from a now defunct gallery on futuro-house.net titled "My Futuro". There were actually more photos but these are the only ones that seem to have been archived; thumbnails of the others can be seen by accessing the gallery pages on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine using these links - Page 1 | Page 2.
The photos include two exterior views, two interior views and three very interesting shots of Futuro House blueprints. In addition the last photograph shows the Futuro in a clearly different location; since it is included in the "My Futuro" gallery we are assuming that this image shows the Futuro at its previous (unknown) location.
On 080505 the Star News, a Wilmington, North Carolina newspaper reprinted the Phil Patton New York Times article referenced below. The article was accompanied by a couple of photos we had not seen before. The article can be found archived by Google News.
"Richard Pisani caught his first glimpse of a Futuro house beside a lake in Illinois in the early 1980's, outlined against the setting sun. "I was just out cruising and there it was in some subdivision," Mr. Pisani said, "like a prop from a sci-fi movie."
Pisani saw the Futuro regularly over the next decade and more but the die was cast, a "seed" had been planted and it grew and flowered. In 1997 Pisani purchased the Futuro (reportedly for $2000 - how things have changed over the years).
The Futuro in Danvers was restored and turned into a media room but there was more to Pisani and his Futuro than that. He began to research the Futuro, make contact with other owners and he started to try to track down other remaining examples of Suuronen's iconic creation.
By 2004 Pisani had become one of the world's foremost authorities on the Futuro House and in that year he created Futuro-House.net a website dedicated to finding and documenting the remaining Futuro's. Along the way Pisani was likely the single biggest contributor to a resurgence of interest in the Futuro that has seen many more examples identified, many more fans appear and many more websites, blogs and articles dedicated to the Futuro (yours truly included).
For most part we would say thank you to Richard for that though a part of us "blames" him for the change in the cost of aquiring a Futuro which is certainly no longer $2000, more like $50000 or more plus the costs of relocating and refurbishing a unit (which makes it beyond our reach]. Just joking of course - Richard - we take our hats off to you; keep up the good work.
The only photograph we have so far come across of this Futuro is this photo by owner Rich Pisani from 081504; if you know of more please let us know.