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.
This video contains a couple of seconds of footage that shows this Futuro back in it's CNIT days at around 5:28 into the video. The video is titled "Les batailles de l'informatique 1978 Part-1" ("The Battles of Computing" according to Google Translate) and was added to Youtube way back on 060810 by RetroC0mputing. Almost certainly the appearance of the Futuro is completely incidental to subject of the video.
It is not unusual for a Futuro to feature as a backdrop for fashion or art shoots and videos and this December 2018 video, "L'instant de ... Lucillia Chenel" or "The moment of ... Lucillia Chenel", from madame.lefigaro.fr is yet another example. In this case the video's focus is actually a watch but this Futuro features prominently in the video as a backdrop.
PhilexFrance was a series of philately exhibitions held in France in 1982, 1989 and 1999. PhilexFrance82 was held at the CNIT (Centre Des Nouvelles Industries Et Technologies) in La Défense in Paris, France.
A number of first day covers and other philately related items associated with PhilexFrance82 featured this Futuro which was located outside the CNIT at the time and we recently added several such items to our collection of "Things Futuro". The items below are (from top to bottom):
A Republique De Djibouti first day cover dated 051082 with two stamps commemorating PhilexFrance82. One of the stamps features graphics that include the CNIT along with the Futuro in front.
A mint strip featuring two stamps issued by the República Democrática De São Tomé E Príncipe to mark PhilexFrance82. The stamps themselves do not include the Futuro but the graphic in the center of the strip which carries an image of the CNIT does show the Futuro (very small and difficult to see) in front of the CNIT.
A limited edition (#53 of 250) "artistic sheet" that includes examples of six different stamps issued by France to mark PhilexFrance82. The stamps themselves have nothing to do with Futuro but the front cover of the folder features a photograph of the CNIT which includes the Futuro (to the lower right).
We recently added a copy of CNIT Ou Les Temps Modernes to our collection of "Things Futuro". The book contains a couple of nice photos of this Futuro during its time outside the CNIT.
We particularly like the aerial view of the CNIT in which the Futuro is just visible lower left.
Yves Buysse recently sent us a couple of interesting links. One was to the photo seen below; in the photo the Futuro is visible center right in the usually seen location in front of the CNIT. The photo is by co1nco1n and the original can be found on Flickr here.
The second link was to the video below. The Futuro appears at 1:02. This footage, dated 101678, is very interesting in that the Futuro is not seen in its normal location immediately in front of the CNIT.
We came a cross a couple of items relating to this Futuro over the last couple of weeks.
The first, the video below, which includes a short clip of this Futuro, was posted to Instagram 040817 by maxwellmodern. The second was the photo below which was recently posted to Instagram by retroamerican_store, at a first glance it has a kind of "creature" look to it.
This vintage photo was posted to Instagram 101916 by materielsupply. We had not seen this particular photo before but is very similar to this photo. Based on the state of the construction of the tower in the background the two photos were clearly taken around the same time in 1972.
This Futuro has been listed for sale on the website Architecture De Collection. It is listed at €130,000. The listing includes a very brief and generic history along with this series of photos which document the Futuros current condition (which is excellent).
We are not rich folks by any stretch of the imagination and we rarely feel any need for more in our life than we have, except of course when a Futuro comes to market; as always at times like these we are really hoping for a lottery win!
We recently came across a couple of photos relating to this Futuro. The first appeared on Instagram and was by retroamerican_store; it features none other than the awesome Yoda.
Interestingly this photo also highlighted an interesting feature we had not noticed before (though looking back at other photos we should have).
In addition to the standard entrance door/steps there is also a second means of closing the entrance so the Futuro can be secured while the steps remain in the lowered position. This makes sense given the location as there are probably times where the flea-market is open for business but no one is attending to the Futuro.
"... writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place."
So, strictly speaking, the second photo should probably not be described as graffiti since it was clearly not done illicitly. That said it does "fit" how we think of graffiti and so that is how we are describing this 2013 art work by EDGE on a wall at the Marché Dauphin that includes the Saint-Ouen Futuro among super heroes and cartoons in a composition titled "In Art We Trust".
Others may feel this is more "street art" or perhaps "urban art"; in the end it really does not matter, we all have our opinions and however we choose to categorize this it is still, in our opinion, a cool piece of art featuring a Futuro.
This week we added another postcard showing this Futuro back in its "CNIT days" to our collection of "Things Futuro". In this case you do need extremely good eyes or a magnifying glass to actually see the Futuro. The CNIT is left center of the postcard with the Futuro just visible to the right of the CNIT. The second image below is a closer view of this area of the postcard where the Futuro is a little clearer.
This past week we added another postcard featuring this Futuro during its time located outside the CNIT (Centre Des Nouvelles Industries Et Technologies) in La Défense in Paris, France to our collection. Interestingly the image is the one that featured on the multi-view postcard we added back in July.
There is a saying that sums up our clearly poor observation skills; couldn't see the forest for the trees".
Shortly after we published the 070415 update to this page Yves Buysse contacted me and pointed out that in one of the four Jean Ribière photos of the Futuro (the second one) during its time at the CNIT we added 070415 you could clearly see that the Futuro had two door sections.
Given the "modular" construction of the Futuro it seems likely that at the original time of purchase a client could have purchased 17 sections instead of 16, perhaps to have a "spare part" for replacement later on should a section become damaged beyond repair somehow. So perhaps in this case there were two sections with a doorway and at some point the unit was disassembled and then reassembled with one of the door sections being replaced with a section with no door.
Equally likely though might be that one of the two doors was blocked up at some point and, based on the photo top left, I believe that is most likely what happened here. The photo, from the period the Futuro spent many years in the French countryside prior to being purchased, refurbished and brought back to Paris, appears to show a second doorway that has been blocked off in the section to the right of the section with the doorway.
Granted the paintwork is in poor shape and so we cannot be certain but given the shape and size of a white section of paint and its central location directly below two windows we think it highly likely we are looking at a blocked off entrance.
To our knowledge the only other Futuro with dual doors is the Media Futuro.
Also this week we were able to add this postcard to our collection of "Things Futuro"; a multi view card featuring various views of the Hauts De Seine suburban area of Paris. Among the views is one of Puteaux which shows Futuro outside the CNIT. The postcard itself is undated but the postmark indicates it was mailed 112988.
This week we were able to acquire this additional set of four photos also by Jean Ribière. As with the earlier prints these are certified and signed by the Fond Jean Ribière and the Clement Cividino Gallery.
The photos are large format prints on 19.5" by 15.5 inch heavy duty photo stock. The images themselves are 12.5" by 12.5" (with the exception of one which is 15.25" by 12.5") which will allow for a nice mat without obscuring any part of the actual photo when we eventually get around to framing them.
Renowned French photographer Jean Ribière was national vice president of the Association Nationale des Journalistes Reporters Photographes et Cinéastes (National Association of Journalists Reporters Photographers and Filmmakers) now known as FreeLens. After his passing in 1989 an archive of 1000's of negatives, prints and other documents passed to his daughter Helen Tabes. That archive is now managed by the Fond Jean Ribière.
We were recently able to add a couple of great photos from the Fond Jean Ribière to our collection of "Things Futuro". The photos are limited edition (1/5) prints from the original negatives of two Jean Ribière shots of this Futuro as it appeared outside the CNIT (Centre Des Nouvelles Industries Et Technologies) in La Défense in Paris, France in 1972.
They are large format prints certified and signed by the Fond Jean Ribière and the Clement Cividino Gallery. The black and white photo measures 14.5" by 14.5" and the color photo measures 15.7" by 11.8".
So this is an update for those who are really into the minutia of Futuro history. Yves Buysse emailed us about a few Futuro things this week. One of the things he told us about was that this Futuro had actually been repositioned during its time at the CNIT. This is clear from a pair of postcards; both of these postcards are in our collection but we had never noticed this. Thanks for pointing it out Yves.
The photographs below clearly show that the orientation of the Futuro changed while it was at the CNIT. The first postcard is postmarked 1975 and the second is postmarked 1983 (though those are the postmark dates not the dates the photos were taken). In the first postcard we can see that the entrance to the Futuro is oriented parallel to the front of the CNIT; in the second we find the steps facing directly away from the CNIT.
There have been a number of music videos that used a Futuro House in some way. The latest we have come across is the video for the track Polonia from French trio Cheveu's third album BUM which features the Saint-Ouen Futuro in several places. We particularly like the lighting effects that can be seen starting at about 2:31 and again around 5:14.
Today we were able to add another postcard to our collection. This one shows the Futuro outside the CNIT (Centre Des Nouvelles Industries Et Technologies) with a sea of flowers in the foreground.
The move of the Futuro to the Marché Dauphine has prompted a great many articles and photos to be published on the web. Among the items posted during the last week or so are these two videos. The first is a very cool "time lapse" video showing the Futuro being re-assembled at the Marché Dauphine; the second has some cool footage but with a commentary in French so I cannot say whether the commentary is informative or not.
We came across three great photos of this Futuro this week. The first photo came up in a Google Image search; the url led to Scoop.it but we could never actually find the page the photo was displayed on so we are not able to credit the photographer but we love the photo. If this is your work please let us know so we can credit you for this awesome photo. The other two photos, one an exterior shot and one an interior shot, are displayed here courtesy of Velvet Galerie.
Ben from Velvet Galerie has confirmed to me that the move to the Marché Dauphine as a permanent one so I have updated the location onfo on this page.
The French Futuro has been moved to a new location at the Marché Dauphine in the northern suburbs of Paris [134 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen, 01 40 12 14 68]. Information about this move can be found on the Velvet Galerie website; our thanks to Ben at Velvet Galerie who dropped us an email letting us know about the move.
We are not entirely sure (as is often the case we are in the hands of Google Translate since most of the information we can find on this is in French) but while the Futuro is already moved (the photo below showing it in its new location along with the video of its reassembly confirms this) it appears it will not be openly on display until 100413 (if anyone with better French than ours can confirm that or correct us please let us know.
Marché Dauphine, the world largest Flea Market, is open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM so if you live in the area or are travelling anywhere near there after 100413 it looks like you have a great opportunity to visit a restored Futuro.
On the Velvet Galerie website you can find more information in their Press Release and there is PDF Press Release you can download from here.
Coincidences always intrigue us; until this update we had heard nothing new relating to the French Futuro in several months (since 111912) and yet within the same week as we received news of this move from Ben at Velvet Galerie we also acquired an addition to our collection of "Things Futuro" - a set of three original Postcards from the 1970's showing the Futuro at La Défense in the 1970's. There are photos of the postcards below and there is a little more information about them here.
These postcards along with the Charles Ardaillon photo shown below do however clarify, at least to us, a little conflicting information about how long the Futuro was located outside the CNIT Building at La Défense. In the 111912 update on this page we referenced a pdf file which indicated that the Futuro was at that location from 1968 through 1972 but it also indicated it spent 10 years as a restaurant. It was unclear to us if the time as a restaurant was at another location. Of the three postcards two were actually mailed; the postmark on one is obscured but one is clearly postmarked 1975. In addition the Charles Ardaillon photo seems to date from 1977. Combining those two pieces of evidence suggests very strongly to us that the Futuro was at La Défense at least through 1977.
We are not sure if the relocation of the Futuro is permanent or if the Futuro will only be on display at Marché Dauphine temporarily so we are leaving the location information on this page unchanged for now; if anyone is able to add any information and in particular confirm if this is a permanent move or not please let us know.
The first of the two photo seen here shows this Futuro as it looks in its new home at the Marché Dauphine; the image is courtesy of Velvet Galerie. The second photo, also courtesy of Velvet Galerie, is a very cool image of the Futuro as it was back in the 1970's at La Défense; this photo is the Charles Ardaillon/RATP Photothèque photo referenced above.
This interesting video shows the Futuro being reassembled on site in its new location; the Marché Dauphine.
These are the three postcards referenced above.
The French Futuro is now owned by a private collector. On the website maison-futuro.com (French | Google Translate to English here) we find the following statement:
"Aujourd'hui propriété d'un collectionneur passionné, ce dernier est bien décide à lui offrir une retraite méritée."
Which according to Google Translate reads something like this:
"Now owned by a passionate collector, it is decided to give him a well-deserved retirement."
The pdf file lists Patrik Barret at 65, rue du fauborg Saint Honnoré - 75008 Paris as the contact for information about the Futuro. The website barretimmobilier.com informs us that Patrik Barret founded a property management company in 2005 and we find information about the Futuro on the site on this page (French | Google Translate to English here).
It is not clear if Patrik Barret (at least to us anyway) is actually the owner or if the company facilitated the purchase of the Futuro by the current owner but since we have no better information (or because of inadequate transaltion) we are listing the Futuro as being currently located at 65, rue du fauborg Saint Honnoré - 75008 Paris.
The pdf document provides us with the following details about the history of the French Futuro:
From 1968 to 1972 the Futuro was located at La Défense in Paris. It also says that the Futuro was the home of a cafeteria called Resto' Bulle and the photo below (courtesy of La Maison Futuro Facebook Page) confirms this. The document also appears (translation issue?) to be saying that the Futuro was the home of the cafeteria for some 10 years; clearly 1968 to 1972 is not ten years. The next listed move of the Futuro was 1983, perhaps the cafeteria moved in 1972 and spent 10 years at another location in Paris serving as a cafeteria? If anyone can provide a better translation or otherwise clear this confusion we would really appreciate you letting us know.
In 1983 the Futuro was moved out of the city for some 20 years or so. The document does not provide the location.
In 2005 the Futuro was acquired by the design company XXO who moved and restored the Futuro. XXO has a Facebook page which hosts quite a number of photos of the Futuro during this time period (some of which are shown below); one of the photo albums indicates that photos were taken during the period July 2007 to May 2008 at Romainville, France. So far we have been unable to find any sign of it in the area using Google Earth historical satellite imagery.
In 2010 the Futuro was purchased by the current owner.
As always when we are dealing with research primarily in a language foreign to us it is quite possible (maybe even probable) that we have the facts wrong so if you have additional information or can correct anything please let us know. Thanks.
The Facebook page La Maison Futuro is the current Facebook page of the French Futuro and this page also lists Patrik Barret and the contact information listed earlier. The photos below show the Futuro in its current restored condition. The photos are courtesy of Patrik Barret/La Maison Futuro.
This next series of photos shows the Futuro prior to its restoration as well as through disassembly, restoration and subsequent reassembly; they provide a good look at the construction of the Futuro. The photos are courtesy of the XXO Facebook Page.
Pretty much all of the information and history we have been able to find regarding this Futuro comes from the video shown below; there does not seem to be anything else out there except the very recent information about its featuring at an exhibition in October 2011.
The Futuro "landed" at the Center of New Industries and Technologies or CNIT in La Défense, Paris, France in 1968. Looking at the photo below, from FuturoHouse.com, it seems the Futuro functioned as some sort of tearoom or cafeteria (signs around the base of the Futuro) for at least some part of the period until 1977. The next 30 years, from 1977 to 2007, are unaccounted for though there is an image from Google Maps on FuturoHouse.com (in the slideshow at the bottom of the page) that shows the Futuro House around the time it was found. The map does not indicate precisely where in France the Futuro had been located but the commentary indicates it was somewhere around 120 KM NE of Paris. In October 2007 the Futuro was "discovered" and over the next three years it was restored.
We have not been able to establish, and the video does not indicate, where the Futuro was moved to for the restoration project or where it is right now but we do know it will be at the Design Elysées Exhibition on the Champs-Elysées in Paris October 20th - 24th 2011. The website EuroPanache describes the exhibition as:
"A selection of important galleries will gather here for this 5 day event, in order to present major design pieces from the 1940s to the 1970s.
Currently we have been unable to ascertain what the future plans are for the Futuro or where it will go after that.
The video below, "the story of one Futuro House" was posted to Facebook 091311 by Velvet Gallerie. The video includes historical footage of the Futuro along with a visual record of the its recent renovation.
The photo is an interesting "grab" from the video.