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.
The latest video from Phoenix Marine NZ was added to Youtube 091723 and is described as showing work on the "Panel B5 foam core installation".
It is always very interesting to follow a Futuro restoration project and over the years several owners and/or restorers have seen fit to share their work with the wider world. That is true of Phoenix Marine NZ who is sharing some of their work on this Futuro through their Facebook page. As always we want to offer our sincere thanks for being afforded the opportunity to follow along with a Futuro restoration journey!
We will endeavor to keep this page updated regularly but for the latest always be sure to check out Phoenix Marine NZ's Facebook and Youtube pages.
This first set of photos is from 111422 and is described this way "Big week in Christchurch dismantling this Futuro and trucking back to my place in Kaukapakapa for its full restoration":
On 111723 we see the "Futuro all loaded today and heading north from Christchurch to ... Kaukapakapa":
Then in early 2023 (022223) "the restoration of the Futuro begins. Panel B8 the first of 16 to get rebuilt":
On 022723 we see photos showing that the "First lower panel on the Futuro restoration is needing a lot of work" along with "Steel brackets out and making new composite ones. New foam core and floor bearers":
On 082723 we see the "Interior top section of this Futuro panel painted in signal white satin finish":
And most recently on 083023 "Futuro panel B5 (is the) next to be restored":
In addition to the photos and info on Facebook Phoenix Marine NZ is also sharing video footage of the restoration process through their Youtube Channel Futuro Restoration Nz. The videos below are as follows (left to right top to bottom):
Panel B8 - 030623
Panel ready for epoxy high build coating - 041823
Start of second lower panel - 051723
Panel B6 inside - 063023
Inside coating panel B6 - 063023
Gloss coat spray by Pro Spray Ltd - 063023
Start of panel B1 - 063023
Panel B1 internal structure - 070623
Panel B5 - 083023
panel B1 inside coatings - 083023
Sanding old gelcoat - 083023
Panel B1 inside foam core - 083023
Following news a couple of months ago regarding the future travels of this Futuro it has now completed the first stage of its journey moving to a temporary home in Ohoka where it will be located with two other Futuros owned by Nick McQuoid for a while.
Marty Broomfield posted this very cool video clip of the Futuro setting out on its journey to Facebook 051022. The Futuro will be disassembled in Ohoka and prepared for the next stage of its journey.
Marty also posted these interesting photos of the transport.
It is worth noting that this is only the second time, at least as far as we know, that there have been three Futuros at a single site. The first was in Belgium in the very early 1970's as can be seen in this press photo dated 083171. More info on this can be found here.
A little over 12 months following the sale of this Futuro it is on the move. Restoration work will be carried out by Phoenix Marine NZ in Kaukapakapa, NZ.
In a Facebook Post on 021022 they commented that the unit would soon be disassembled and moved by truck (some 700 miles or so according to Google Maps) to Kaukapakapa at the northern end of New Zealand's North Island for restoration.
The same day Nick McQuoid (who of course owns his own Futuros) posted the cool video footage below of the interior of the Futuro as it looks right now. We look forward to seeing what becomes of her in due course.
As of the end of November the seller's dedicated website here indicates that this Futuro has been sold a little ahead of the original 120520 deadline. The listing on Trademe has gone (though as of the time of writing the Futuro is still listed on E-Bay with a $270K "buy it now" price).
As of today this Futuro is "up for grabs". We just received this official press release from the seller (thanks for sending it over?).
The Futuro is also listed on Trademe and additional information can be found on the seller's dedicated website here.
Among the information contained in the press release and listings is some historical information which aligns nicely with what we previously knew about this unit and several photos as seen below.
The Futuro has been partially renovated and the listing includes the following details:
"The hatch door has cables and a garage opener that lowers and raises door. Note: the opener has not been used for a number of years and cannot be guaranteed operational. The door opens and closes however, with relative ease by way of counter-weight attached to cabling.
The internals have been cleared from when it was relocated from New Brighton in 2006. This provides a clean slate from which to work (as shown in the photo gallery) displaying marimekko couches and "historical" plaques installed around internal surfaces. These will all remain in-situ for new owner to determine aesthetic.
Items included in sale: Original Fibreglass Kitchen Bench. There are 2 x 2 seater couch units installed, but there is an additional 2 seater in storage. There are also fibreglass 2 "shelving" wall units as seen in the photo gallery, with an additional 2 in storage. The original custom shaped mattress is stored that the owner may wish to employ or take a pattern from. For future window replacement, there are 2 types of MDF mould/formes to use with a plastics service to re-blow the unique curved windows.
Documents include: Resource consents for disconnection, building and removal, numerous other quotes & invoices, external & internal maps, historical documents and newspaper clippings and associated media."
Along with the following information specific to relocation of the unit:
"This relocatable home requires NO disconnection or additional resource consent costs to move to your new home. It has no additional expense that would usually be required to remove this building from a property. The storage company is also the transport company... this UFO is ready-to-fly as soon as the deal is done!
We can prepare relocation estimates to nearly any part of the planet, for serious bidders/offers to consider as part of their due diligence.
The base/cradle that the Futuro rests on is only in suitable condition for relocation. The destination will need to have a new cradle prepared in advance, but this also allows a creative opportunity for the new owner, to design something spectacular for the new resting place. We have estimates also for replacement of the basic cradle design."
Cost estimates for relocation within New Zealand range from $10K for a location within 30km of Christchurch to $70K to Auckland. There are no estimates for relocation outside of New Zealand.
The deadline for offers is listed as 120520 (unless sold prior to that). Once again the Trademe listing can be found here with additional information on the seller's dedicated website here.
This first set of photos shows the Futuro as it is in its current location.
These four photos are current interior shots.
These photos show some of the additional (non-installed) fixtures and fittings that come along with the Futuro.
These photos show this Futuro as it was some years ago on display at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
These shots show several of the historical plaques included as a part of the purchase.
We do not see very many photos of this Futuro so it is always great to see a "new" one. This photo was posted to Facebook 100220 by Virginie Maneval. There is no indication of the date the photo was taken.
Judith identified the Futuro's location as Fordingbridge Lane, one of the previous locations of this Futuro, and, though it is a little unclear due to the resolution of the photo, there is a street sign for Fordingbridge Lane visible in the photo.
The photo shows a fully assembled Futuro either being placed or removed so the assumption would be that it either arrived at or left this location by road in a fully assembled state.
These two photographs show a Futuro in a location and setting that are unfamiliar to us; we do not recall ever having seen this location before.
Corran's comment indicates that the photographs are of a Futuro House that was displayed as a part of an Animation Festival in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, New Zealand. The comment does not include timing of this festival though the naming of the images themselves suggests they were taken 080807.
While nothing in the comment indicates that the photographs are of this specific Futuro the evidence strongly suggests that this is the case and that likely the Futuro was displayed as a part of this festival after being displayed at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and prior to being placed at its current location.
There are several reasons we might draw this conclusion. The first is the timing; assuming that the naming of the images does actually reflect the date they were taken, 080807, then the timing is compatible with the known history of this Futuro House. The unit was on display at the Botanic Gardens through the first part of 2007; most reports we have come across suggest it was there Dec 2006 to Feb 2007 but there are photographs taken as late as 032007 so the unit was certainly in the Botanic Gardens until at least that date. The earliest evidence of the unit being at its current location we have come across is Google Earth imagery from 022608 so this unit could have been in Cathedral Square on 080807.
In addition the other known New Zealand Futuros (with a couple of exceptions) can definitively be placed at their locations both prior to and after 080807. Most are some distance from Christchurch and the likelihood of the Cathedral Square unit being one of the other units transported in and then returned to their original location is less likely than it being this unit.
The only units we cannot place at their current location prior to 080807 are the Paringa River Futuro (a remote location over 300 miles by road from Christchurch) and the Invercargill Futuro (a disassembled unit in storage and some 400 or so miles by road from Christchurch). All in all it seems very likely the Cathedral Square unit was this one based on timing and known history of Futuros in New Zealand.
There is also the photographic evidence. Consider these two photos (click the photos for higher res images) of the Botanic Gardens unit ready for transport and the Cathedral Square unit and note:
The presence of a "blanked out" window on both the photograph of the Cathedral Square unit and the unit displayed at the Botanic Gardens (and known to be now at this location).
The similar appearance of the windows themselves (around the edges) in both photos.
Secondly consider these two photographs of the interiors of the two units. Note in the right photograph the "Futuro shaped" placards below the windows; clearly a part of the "display" of the Futuro House. In the left picture note the same under the very right window in the shot. It looks as if the unit likely moved from the Botanic Gardens to Cathedral Square with exactly the same display materials remaining in place.
On balance we have to conclude that this unit made a stop at Cathedral Square between the time it left the Botanic Gardens and the time it arrived at its current location.
Seems like this is not too surprising; commenting on another Facebook post of 080313 Nick McQuoid (owner of three Futuros - see here and here) notes that the owners are looking for $260K for the unit. At that price it could be staying exactly where it is right now for some time to come.
King House Removals have kindly given us permission to display two very cool photos of the Futuro loaded up and ready for road transport from Christchurch to Harewood.
Original Information 100411
This Futuro was located at the Christchurch Botanic Garden for a few months at the end of 2006 and was moved to its current location in 2007; we have not yet been able to ascertain where it was located prior to the Botanic Garden.
The Futuro is currently in storage at the Christchurch Yard of King House Removals; the company that was also responsible the transport of the Futuro between locations. In a comment on a post on the blog Christchurch Modern the result of a phone call to the company to try to get some additional information is reported as the following one liner:
"it's in storage on behalf of a private owner."
King House Removals display a couple of cool images of the Futuro on a truck during transport on their website. It is unclear whether the images are from the transport to or from the Botanic Garden though it would be reasonable to assume the same company transported the Futuro using the same method on both occasions. The images are 9 and 9.1 in the gallery.
The only photo of this Futuro in this location of which we are aware is an image attached to a 101908 blog post on the site Christchurch Modern, if you are aware of any others please let us know".
An interesting side note to this Futuro is that during the time it has been at its current location it has actually been moved several times; not very far admittedly but the series of screen shots from Google Earth clearly shows the Futuro in three slightly different locations. The imgery in the screenshots dates from 022608, 061509, 022511 and 022713 respectively (top to bottom, left to right):