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

Nick McQuoid - Christchurch Futuro - Date Unknown



Info, History, Photos


Update 082617

Futuro House - Raglan - 1984?We recently caught up with owner Tim Hoban. Tim updated us on progress with his Futuro restoration project and also sent us a couple of photos.

The small photo top left shows the Futuro on its arrival in Raglan back around 1984 being hoisted into position by crane; to be honest we thought we had seen this photo and added it to this site long ago but it seems not so here it is - thanks Tim.

As for the restoration project Tim tells us work is progressing with the last several weeks seeing fiberglass repair work on the base segments. The photo below shows one of the base segments being prepared to have new ply floor ribs fiberglassed into the structure.

Tim also added a rather interesting note about the entrance which he tells us is not centered between two windows but actually offset to one side of the section. This would actually match the configuration of the US manufactured Futuros where the entrance was located directly below a window as opposed to centered between two windows.

Tim is actively researching the history of his Futuro and he tells us he believes it is the one that was used as a bank branch by the Bank Of New Zealand at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games which ran from 012474 through 020274. It was located at the games main venue, Queen Elizabeth II Park in Christchurch, New Zealand. A couple of photos can be found here. Always hate to contradict an owner but our information regarding multiple Futuros suggests this is not very likely.

What is interesting to note in those photos is that the entrance is visible in one of the two units, the orange one, and in that case the entrance is certainly centered between two windows. In the case of the green Futuro the entrance is not visible and so that could be the one Tim now owns though we do wonder what the likelihood is of the two Futuros installed for the Commonwealth Games being structurally different (Tim - forgive us for doubting you but we know you know the early history of many of the Futuros is somewhat clouded and often there is contradictory evidence).

Tim Hoban - Base Section Undergoing Restoration Work August 2017

Update 110815

The Raglan Futuro has now been moved to Christchurch where it will be restored by owner Tim Hoban. The photos below show the Futuro being disassembled 102715, transported to Christchurch and in storage in a disassembled state in its new "temporary" home. Tim tells us that he and a group of four volunteers who:

"started early on Tuesday morning and by a late lunchtime had all the top sections off and stacked ready for transport. Spent the rest of the day unbolting and separating the lower sections (a number of bolts having to be cut off) Wednesday morning our Hiab arrived and we lifted the lower sections off the ring and onto the ground for loading onto our transporter which arrived at 12.30. We basically manhandled the sections on to the back of the transporter and it left Raglan fully loaded for CHCH at 2.30pm. With a trailer load of internal fittings, wall sections etc I drove the 1000km back to CHCH including a 2.30am Cook Strait Ferry sailing to meet the truck at our CHCH base where the Futuro will be restored at 1.00pm and a hour later it was unloaded and tucked away."

We wish Tim well with his restoration project and look forward to seeing photos of another restored Futuro in the future.

Tim Hoban Photos Of Raglan - 090115 - 1

Tim Hoban Photos Of Raglan - 090115 - 2

Tim Hoban Photos Of Raglan - 090115 - 3

Tim Hoban Photos Of Raglan - 090115 - 4

Tim Hoban Photos Of Raglan - 090115 - 5

Update 101315

Owner Tim Hoban emailed us yesterday with some interesting information about his Futuro along with details of a rare opportunity for people to get "up close and personal" with a Futuro. Our thanks to Tim for sharing this information.

Recently Tim spent a couple of days breaking down the Futuro's internal fittings, furniture and wall panels (some photos at various stages along with an exterior shot can be found below) to get the Futuro ready for disassembly prior to shipping to Christchurch where Tim will start restoration work.

Tim is planning to disassemble the Futuro on Tuesday and Wednesday October 20-21 and he is looking for any volunteers who have an interest in Futuro and would like to assist in the work.

Obviously for anyone in the area or who can travel to the location this is a rare opportunity to get "hands on" with Futuro and we are hoping that Tim will find a crowd on Tuesday next week; coffee, cakes and lunch will be provided. For those who do attend it is important that you are physically fit. We would love such an opportunity but New Zealand is a little far.

Along with information about the upcoming disassembly of the Futuro Tim also confirmed a little of the history of the unit and provided a little information about its condition.

Tim tells us that he does not think the Futuro has ever been disassembled since it was purchased by the original owner, Peter Farrell, around 1975 and that he believes the unit was relocated from Whangaparaoa to Raglan in a fully assembled state in 1984.

As for the condition of the unit Tim writes:

"As the site is exposed to the elements in its seaside environment the support ring is suffering extensive rust and we will be using a scaffold to support the base of the Futuro during its disassembly. The surface of the gel coat has fared much better. In my opinion the Gelcoat finish of the NZ Version of the Futuro seems to have weathered better than say the U.S. version, may be in part to the fact they were manufactured by a company experienced in fiberglass boat building."

There have been several restorations in recent years and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the end results of another such project.

Good luck Tim! We hope everything goes well.

Tim Hoban Photos Of Raglan - 1

Tim Hoban Photos Of Raglan - 2

Tim Hoban Photos Of Raglan - 3

Tim Hoban Photos Of Raglan - 4

Update 010814

Not strictly a Raglan update but just to "close the circle" Nick McQuoid tells us that while he was, for some time, looking to purchase the Raglan unit he pulled out of that because he found a newly "rediscovered" unit in storage in Invercargill that made more financial sense for him.

Update 010614

We spend a great deal of time trying to ensure the information presented on these pages is accurate but we have always recognized that there will be times we have it wrong and the ownership of this Futuro is something we had wrong. This Futuro has been purchased by Christchurch man Tim Hoban. Interestingly in the space of two days we heard this from three different sources.
Update 010514

The Raglan Futuro made the news with its upcoming move in a 010514 article by John Weekes entitled "Spaceship Home Flies Off To Explore Southern Frontier" in The New Zealand Herald.

We learn nothing new in the article but it is accompanied by an interesting photo (below) by Michael Craig which is either photo shopped or used time lapse to achieve a, presumably, "ufo" appropriate effect in the sky. A pdf of the article can be found here.

Futuro, Raglan - Michael Craig

Update 112813

We are beginning to think we made the wrong career choices in life. Nick McQuoid made the right ones. Nick had already purchased two Futuros and in a Facebook post of 101613 Nick tells us he has now purchased a third unit and is clearly on the way to "cornering the market" in New Zealand. Got any "career advice" Nick?

In the post Nick recounts how:

"Circumstances changed for previous owner who can no longer disassemble it in time so it was offered to me at a very good discounted price. Yay! Pull down over New Years!!"

The Facebook post was accompanied by the two photos below - hope you don't mind us raiding your Facebook timeline Nick. Though not specifically stated in the post we are assuming that 2014 will see another Futuro on the way to Rangiora to join the two already there.

Raglan - Nick M Purchase 101613 A

Raglan - Nick M Purchase 101613 B

Update 031113

The Raglan Futuro has now been sold; the sale was for $80K and was for the Futuro only, neither the land nor the other buildings were a part of the deal. The buyer was from Christchurch; no indications as yet of whether the Futuro will move there but since the land was not a part of the deal the assumption must be that it will be moved from its current location. Thanks for keeping us up to date with developments Sue.

Update 030613

In email correspondence with a local entrepreneur we were told that the Futuro did not sell at the auction March 2nd. That same local entrepreneur is currently working on a possible purchase which, if successful, would almost certainly add another Futuro to the list of those available for rent. We will likely know the outcome of that within a week or two. We are keeping our fingers crossed all goes well; this would almost certainly provide another opportunity for those who have an interest in the Futuro House to get just a little taste of the "Futuro" experience by renting one for a vacation.

Update 030313

This video, posted on YouTube (Dead link - can be viewed or downloaded here) by Mike O'Neill, features some nice footage of both the exterior and the interior of the Raglan Futuro.



Update 022013

A Futuro for sale will almost always generate a little publicity and this one is no exception. Campbell Live, a leading current affairs program broadcast on New Zealand's TV3, just ran the following segment on the Raglan Futuro and its upcoming auction. A little too "alien" centric and not enough focus on Futuro's architectural significance for our taste but it does include some nice exterior and interior footage.

(030313) This video has been removed from YouTube - you can still find it streamed on the TV Station's website here.

Update 020413

It seems that the Raglan Futuro is on the market; up to be auctioned at 5:00 PM March 2nd 2013. The property at 115 Riria Kereopa Memorial Drive can be found listed for sale by Ray White Real Estate here (Link now leads to a resale of the property without the Futuro - see pdf of orginal listing here).

In the listing we read that the property up for sale includes the spaceship, a second dwelling, a large 3 car garage and a brand new 30 year lease. There are open viewings February 6th and 9th and the property will be auctioned March 2nd if no one purchases it before then.

A Waikato Times article by Daniel Adams that can be found on stuff.co.nz provides more information on the listing along with a little historical context.

Adams tells us that:

"Ray White real estate agent Stephen O'Byrne says there is good interest in the quirky offering, priced at 'high twos, low threes'."

The article goes on to recount how sea captain Peter Farrell decided to buy the Futuro after some of his junior officers saw it in Tauranga in the 1970s. Sadly Mr. Farrell recently passed and hence the upcoming auction.

Good luck to all who bid; we would love one of those bidders to be us but sadly such a thing is way beyond our means and in any case Raglan is half way around the globe from where we "lay our hats". Here's hoping a true Futuro "nut" wins the auction and that the Futuro gets the attention and care we believe it deserves.

The photos below accompanied the Ray White Real Estate listing.

Raglan For Sale 1

Raglan For Sale 2

Raglan For Sale 3

Raglan For Sale 4

Raglan For Sale 5

Raglan For Sale 6

Raglan For Sale 7

Raglan For Sale 8

Raglan For Sale 9

Raglan For Sale 10

Raglan For Sale 11

Raglan For Sale 12

Raglan For Sale 13

Raglan For Sale 14

Update 012613

Recently David Osbiston aka ozbizbozzle sent us this excellent close up shot of the Raglan Futuro. Don't know when it was taken but it is one of the nicest shots we have seen of this particular Futuro. Thanks for allowing us to display it here David.

Futuro, Raglan, New Zealand - David Osbiston

Update 092212

The confirmed date for this unit has been updated based on this nice shot of the Futuro taken on 081712 by Noel Jones and published under CC 2.0.

Futuro, Raglan, New Zealand - Noel Jones

Update 080112

The confirmed date for this Futuro has been updated to 042212 based on the date of this photo by Lieve Van den Bosch.

Original Information 100311

The Futuro at Raglan, New Zealand is owned by a retired ship's captain who bought it on the spot when his ship berthed one day and he saw the Futuro. The Captain had it located at Whangaparaoa for several years but on his retirement relocated it to its current home in Raglan. The Futuro is seated on a concrete base though the standard steel support frame is also visible and it appears to be in excellent condition and still in use.

In a post on the Raglan Futuro the blog Gorgeous with Attitude references an interview with the Captain by Venetia Sherson that was part of the research for the book Baches of Raglan (Venetia Sherson; Andrea Wilkinson; David B Cook; Beryl Fletcher; Waikato Institute of Technology). The book, no longer in print (Amazon, Google Books, WorldCat, Better World Books) was published in 2008 and was the work of the students and lecturers of the Waikato Institute Of Technology. The Captain is quoted as describing the Futuro as

"... one space. The kitchen is about six inches higher than the lounge area the bed is tucked in behind a screen, out of sight. The toilet and shower are just outside the main area."

and he calls it his "moon house". Not surprisingly the Captain says that children love the Futuro and that (if the parents allow it) he even likes to tell them a "little white lie" and say it actually came from outer space."

As an interesting aside and a comment on both our intelligence and on the problems with making assumptions we actually searched many times and many places for a book titled "Beaches Of Raglan" thinking that "Baches" was a typo. Only after several failed searches did we try with the original spelling and discover that a "bach" was a holiday or beach home.

The photo below is by fletch128 and displayed under CC 2.0 license. Additional photos can be found by following the links below:
Futuro, Raglan, New Zealand

Sources
In Books & Magazines
Latest Confirmation

Personal email correspondence with owner Tim Hoban 081217.

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