The Futuro House

The Futuro House was conceived by Matti Suuronen in 1968 as a "portable" ski chalet. It is an iconic piece of architecture and this site is devoted to documenting the history of the Futuro and the current status and whereabouts of the remaining examples.





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Location Information

Futuro, Lorne/Otway, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page 101315



Info, History, Photos


Update 050518

As a result of an email from Martin Williams and a little research that followed it has become clear that the conclusion we reached regarding the photo of "The Otway Futuro" in the 021314 update to this page, specifically that it and this Futuro were one and the same, was in error and there were Futuros at both Lorne and Otway with the latter specifically being at the Sokil Art Eco Retreat. More information can be found in the Sokil Art Eco Retreat section on the "Lost Souls" page.

Update 032016

The Gumtree.com.au listing has ended and the site now reports the listing as "sold" and in a post to her Facebook Group owner Mara Szoeke indicates the Futuro's destination is Perth, Australia.

Update 030516

If you are interested in purchasing this Futuro you will need to get your bid in very soon. The Gumtree.com.au listing has been updated to include both a "starting price" of $20,000 and an "end date" with the highest bid above the starting price registered by 5:00 PM Sunday March 6th being accepted.

Owner Mara Szoeke has also created a Facebook Group which offers an alternative way to place a bid along with the opportunity to keep up with the story. Mara also added some great photos to that page from back in 2004 when the Futuro was disassembled at its previous Scoresby location after Mara purchased it. Those photos can be found below; thanks for sharing them Mara.

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 1

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 2

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 3

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 4

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 5

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 6

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 7

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 8

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 9

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 10

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 11

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page Feb 2016 - 2004 Disassembly 12

Update 021916

It seems the late 2015 auction did not result in the sale of this Futuro as it was listed for sale on Gumtree.com.au on 021816. The listing does not include a price; it simply indicates that price is "negotiable".

As always when we write about a Futuro for sale we wish we could be the one to purchase but that is not going to happen so we will content ourselves with the hope that whoever ends up purchasing this unit will do so with the intent to restore and preserve it.

Update 101815

In a 101315 post to her Facebook page owner Mara Szoeke provided further details regarding the sale of her Futuro.

The unit is for sale by online auction with a starting price of $50,000. Mara can be contacted at maraszoeke@gmail.com for more information and to register bids.

Bidding will conclude 103015 and the unit must be picked up by 112015. The unit requires a new support structure and floor and it has no interior fittings; it is a disassembled shell only (see photos below).

Futuro, Lorne/Otway, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page 101315 - 1

Futuro, Lorne/Otway, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page 101315 - 2

Futuro, Lorne/Otway, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page 101315 - 3

Futuro, Lorne/Otway, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page 101315 - 4

Futuro, Lorne/Otway, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page 101315 - 5

Futuro, Lorne/Otway, Victoria, Australia - Mara Facebook Page 101315 - 6

Update 101015

In a 100815 post to the Modernist Australia Facebook page Mara Szoeke, owner of this Futuro indicated that the unit would shortly be put up for auction. Mara added that the unit was already disassembled and ready to be moved and that the auction starting price would be $50K. More information will be posted here as and when it becomes available. If you are looking to purchase a Futuro keep an eye out for updates or sign up for our mailing list to automatically receive any info as soon as we have it.

Update 030114

Lorne Falls FestivalWe received an email this week from Craig Barnes (futurohouse.co.uk), owner of the UK Futuro which included the series of photos shown below. The photos were taken by noted drummer, record producer and songwriter Jack Baker while on tour playing drums for Bonobo. They were playing at the Falls Music & Arts Festival, an annual event that runs at multiple sites; at the Lorne venue the festival ran 122813 through 010114.

Craig tells us that the Futuro

"... was used as the backstage dressing room for the headline act ..."

In this case that act was The Roots who served as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from 2009 to 2014, and on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon since 2014. As a part of the supporting act Jack was unable to go inside the Futuro so the photos are exterior only but nevertheless it is a great set of photos and we thank both Jack and Craig for allowing us to display the photos here.

Jack's photos have made us even more convinced that the "Otway Futuro" and the "Lorne Futuro" are one and the same. One of the only reasons we were unsure previously was the condition of the paintwork which appeared to be far better in Mara's photo than in the photo of the "Otway Futuro".

However looking at Jack's photos (taken very recently) there is clear evidence of the deterioration of the finish and the seams between the sections which standout in the "Otway" photo are also evident in some of Jack's shots. It seems to us that Mara's photo is probably the oldest with the "Otway" photo being taken some time between Mara's and Jack's.

As a direct result of the information in Craig's email we have now been able to pinpoint the location of the Futuro using Bing Maps (985 Erskine Falls Rd, Lorne VIC 3232, Australia | 38°31'7.99"S 143°53'14.45"E). Had we used Bing Maps back when we first heard of this Futuro we would have located it then but we used Google Earth and Google Maps and despite looking several times at the exact location we could not identify the Futuro; in fact in Google Maps even having the exact co-ordinates without other evidence it would be hard to say from the satellite imagery that there was definitely a Futuro at the location. Not so with Bing Maps which clearly shows a Futuro.

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia | Jack baker 1

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia | Jack baker 2

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia | Jack baker 3

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia | Jack baker 4

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia | Jack baker 5

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia | Jack baker 6

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia | Jack baker 7

Update 021314

(050518 | see here for later updated information)

On 021114 in a Facebook post on the Futuro House Facebook page a photo was posted under the title "The Otway Futuro" - the photograph can be seen below.

Our immediate reaction was "cool, the other Scoresby Futuro" and off we went to Google Earth as we normally do with a possible "re-discovered" Futuro to see if we could pin down the location. Searching for Otway however did not bring up any cities, towns or villages which seemed odd. It seems that there is a region in Victoria known as the Otways and that Lorne is in fact located within that region.

That prompted us to go back to the photo and take a closer look. We cannot be sure and of course we could very well be mistaken; it would not be the first time and for sure it will not be the last, but we now believe that the "Otway" Futuro is also the "Lorne Futuro" for the following reasons: However there are also some significant differences; there seem to be more trees in the "Otway" photo and the condition of the paintwork appears to be far better in the "Lorne" photo (the joints between the sections are not so prominent either). In addition the similarities could be expected since even if they were different units given the entryway configuration it seems almost certain that they would be the two Scoresby Futuros and therefore similar anyway. On balance we still tend to think they are one and the same and for now we will leave it that way.

That said we would be very interested in other opinions and we would be particularly interested if someone could provide a definitive answer one way or the other; if you can please let us know.

Futuro, Lorne/Otway, Victoria, Australia

Update 020814

We have heard that this Futuro is no longer on the market. Mara has found suitable storage for the unit and plans on restoring it herself over the next several years. We wish Mara great success with the restoration.

Original Information 122113

There were a pair of Futuro's located at 1280 Ferntree Gully Rd, Scoresby VIC 3179, Australia until 2004. In this video, "Mara's Caribbean UFO Abduction", posted to Youtube by Russell White we see footage of the disassembly of one of the units following its sale in 2004.


In a note accompanying the video posting Russell indicates that the Futuro was being disassembled:

"ahead of its move to the Victorian, Aireys Inlet hinterland for use as a flop house for surfies and their fellow travelers."

We have spent quite some time looking in Google Earth for the Futuro in that area but we have always come up blank. However it appears that the unit did indeed end up in that area and furthermore is still "alive and kicking".

We check on the Facebook Page "The Futuro House" from time to time but we failed to notice an entry in the "recent posts by others" section on the right towards the top by Mara Szoeke on 112513. The ever watchful Achim Breiling did notice and he sent us an email pointing out the entry - thanks Achim.

Mara's post included this photo (the only one we have seen of this Futuro).

Futuro, Lorne, Victoria, Australia

The post was accompanied by the following commentary:

"Hello Futuro lovers.... I have a Futuro in Victoria Australia - not an original, but a copy - so none of the interior fittings. I am thinking of selling it. It is currently situated in Lorne on a private property. The purchaser would need to be able to disassemble and remove from the site between mid Jan & end of March 2014. If you are interested please email me innerbiscuit@gmail.com"

An additional entry adds that the aforementioned video "Mara's Caribbean UFO Abduction" shows "how we moved it".

Mara's comment that the Futuro is a copy is interesting. We have never doubted that the two units at Scoresby were Futuros and to be honest we still think that they were which makes this Futuro a "real" one and not a copy.

Perhaps the comment is based on the fact that the unit does not include any of the original Futuro fittings and furnishings. To us that in and of itself does not indicate that the unit is a copy; it is possible it was originally fully fitted out and that the interior got changed out along the way. It is also possible that someone could have had a Futuro manufactured from the original molds but then chose to fit out the interior in their own way; that to us would still be an "original" Futuro.

Finally Mara indicates she is considering selling and provides a contact email for anyone who might be interested. As always we are very interested but unfortunately do not have the resources to purchase, ship and restore a Futuro (now would be a great time for a Lottery jackpot).

We find ourselves wondering if Nick McQuoid might be reading this or has already come across Mara's post (Nick; you out there?). Nick of course seems to be focused on "cornering the market" on Futuros with a current collection of three - two in Rangiora and one yet to be disassembled and shipped from Raglan (along with a Venturo just for good measure). Nick's Futuros are of course in New Zealand but he has already had one shipped from Australia so perhaps another?

Coincidentally there is mention of another Futuro like building in the same area that was apparently destroyed in 1983. In a 081309 forum post Corio recounts that:

"On the seaward side of the Great Ocean Road, just past Big Hill on the way to Lorne, there was a similar building to those pictured, used as a holiday house. AIUI, it was purchased after serving as a "futuristic house" exhibit at a home show in Melbourne in around 1960.

Given its generally inaccessible location down a very steep private driveway, it could only be glimpsed through the bush as you drove past (although drivers can't afford to let their eyes wander on that road). It was visible from Lorne, as a distant, powerful glint in the sun when looking back towards Aireys Inlet.

Sadly, the Ash Wednesday bushfire in 1983 reduced it to a lump of molten metal.
"

Corio indicates the building was "similar" to those pictured ("those" being Futuros) but with it being purchased around 1960 it predates Futuro. It would be interesting to see what might have been in the area that was similar to a Futuro some eight or so years ahead of Futuro so if anyone knows anything about this please let us know.

Sources
In Books & Magazines

None currently known.

Latest Confirmation

For Sale listing on Gumtree.com.au 021816

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