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. | Latest Site News & Updates

For the latest site news and updates check out the Site Update History Page

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Location Information

Peter S - South Morang Futuro - 022118

Info, History, Photos

Update 032223

We recently received an email from Shane Rank regarding a photo of an orange Futuro that had been our list of "unknown locations" for quite some time. Shane was able to identify the photo as being a very early photo of this Futuro. He also provided some historical detail which adds a little to the story and also aligns perfectly with what we already knew. The photo can be seen below.

Rather than rewrite Shane's story we figured why not leave that to Shane. He wrote:

"In regards to the photo of the Orange Futuro sent in by Brett Colquhoun in Australia.

There was an Orange, Futuro used as a sales office in a housing estate called Apollo Parkways, situated in the suburb of Greensborough, Victoria in the 1970's.

I do believe that at the time of that photo, it was situated about, No.3 Avandina Cres with Delpura Glen behind it and Plenty River Drive winding up the hill to the left of the photo.

Around about that time, the housing estate was officially opened from the Futuro with dry ice creating smoke coming from the bottom of the Futuro as the door opened and a well known, Melbourne, TV entertainer of the day, Graham Kennedy opened the estate and asked for people interested in viewing the house of the future to come in and have a look.

In subsequent years the Futuro moved down to the lower intersection of Diamond Creek Road and Plenty Diver Drive, then moved to the upper section of Plenty River Drive by now becoming Yellow next to a Blue water tower, then I believe it moved to a Go-Kart track in McDonalds Road South Morang where it was painted Silver.

I grew up in Greensborough and I have verified this with my friends from Greensborough.

The "Yellow next to a Blue water tower" iteration of this Futuro can be seen in the photo below added with the 080820 update to this page.

Greensboro Original Location Of South Morang Futuro

Update 083122

While we are not able to share any details at this time we are delighted to be able to report that we have heard from the owner of this Futuro, Andrew, who tells us he is about to embark on the process of restoration and relocation.

It is always great to hear about another Futuro getting the TLC it so richly deserves. We anticipate being able to share some more details along with photos in the future but for now we wanted to share the fact that the unit is about to be restored.

Update 080820

We came across an interesting post recently (though it actually dates from back in March 2020) on the blog Yallambie titled "A Little Bit Of Gravitas". The post covered several topics among which was a section which provided a little historical information on this Futuro along with the photo below (originally from JazzGav Burge on Facebook).

With the exception of the very grainy newspaper photo found in the 070817 update on this page this is the first photo we have come across of the Futuro at this location.

The writer tells us that:

"Ray Dean, a real estate agent from Greensborough ... began selling land at a new estate north of Yallambie called Apollo Parkways."

Dean installed a Futuro at the site and the blog tells us that:

"It was used as the Apollo estate office and became something of a local landmark for a while, painted yellow and perched on top of a hill on the corner of Plenty River Drive and Diamond Creek Rd for more than a decade."

For a moment, given the reference to Yallambie, we thought this was a "new location" prior to Greensboro but after reading the post (that informs us that the unit was moved from this location to South Morang), noting that (per Google Maps) Greensboro to Yallambie is less than 2 miles and taking account of the fact that Dean was from Greensboro we concluded this is in fact the same location we have always identified as Greensboro.

Yallambie Futuro - JazzGav Burge, Facebook Via Yallambie Blog

Update 090218

Between November 2017 and March 2018 Peter S travelled thousands of miles and visited this Futuro as well as those in Canberra, Cheltenham, Deep Creek and High Wycombe. He visited this Futuro on 022118, about three months before it was disassembled and placed into storage. The photos below show the condition of the Futuro at that time; Thanks for sharing Peter.

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 1

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 2

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 3

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 4

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 5

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 6

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 7

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 8

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 9

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 10

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 11

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 12

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 13

South Morang Futuro - 022118 - Peter S - 14

Update 081218

The Heritage Victoria decision in respect of this Futuro's nomination for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register appears in this document under the heading "Recommendation of the Executive Director and assessment of cultural heritage significance under Part 3 of the Heritage Act 2017".

The decision did not go in favor of the Futuro and, as it seems to us is the case with anything "government" or "legal", the authors seem to have gone out of there way to make the reasoning as hard to determine as possible but in summary is appears the Futuro "passed" some of the requirements and not others as far as its "cultural significance to Victoria" was concerned in the estimation of the authors.

The report, which references this website several times, included a few photos of the Futuro around the time it was disassembled and placed into storage. The first three photos were taken March/April 2018 around the time of disassembly of the Futuro and the second three, showing the Futuro being placed in storage, are dated May 2018.

Heritage Victoria 1

Heritage Victoria 2

Heritage Victoria 3

Heritage Victoria 4

Heritage Victoria 5

Heritage Victoria 6

Update 050518

This Futuro has now been dismantled and moved to a new (unknown - to us at least) location. Hot on the heels of the news that there were efforts underway to have the Futuro listed on the Victorian Heritage Register to ensure it was protected as something of cultural heritage significance (see the 033118 update) the City of Whittlesea posted the photo below on Instagram recently which shows the Futuro partially disassembled.

A comment attached to the post reads in part:

"We've been working with the owner of Futuro House to have it listed on the Victorian Heritage Register to ensure it's protected as something of cultural heritage significance. A permanent home for Futuro House hasn't yet been decided, but the owner has confirmed that following a bit of a restoration makeover it will be kept as a private asset."

Then just a few days later we received an email from Morgan Thomas which confirmed that the Futuro has now been removed from the site (sometime between 042818 and 050518) . Morgan's email reads in part:

"... this Futuro house has recently been relocated, although I don't know where it has gone. I go past its location every Saturday, and today noticed it missing. It was still there last Saturday, but a couple of weeks ago I noticed all the windows had been removed, and suspected this might be to protect them from damage when it was moved, so was not surprised to see it gone."

South Morang Futuro - City Of Whittlesea - 043018

Update 033118

It is always great to see a Futuro getting a little "tlc" or, in this case, protection as so many have deteriorated over the years. In a 022618 article the Herald Sun reported that this Futuro had been accepted as a nominee for the Victorian Heritage Register. That nomination is currently under consideration by Heritage Victoria.

The article also suggests that a re-location is likely in the Futuro's future noting that:

"Whittlesea Council issued a permit for the subdivision of the site in June 2017 which required the Futuro House be protected, restored and relocated. The council considers the Futuro to have "state heritage significance" and nominated it for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register."

The article goes on to add that there are no plans for the Futuro to be relocated to any council-owned land.

Update 070817

An article published online 070117 by the Melbourne based Herald Sun suggests that this Futuro may be taking a trip to a new location in the future. The article reports that:

"... Whittlesea Council will work with the owners of the spaceship-like fiberglass structure, Canopi Homes, to ensure the protection, restoration and appropriate relocation of the Futuro to a place with a public presence."

A council representative indicated the council would work with the owners to identify suitable sites and suggested that the council could use the Futuro as a potential tourist attraction.

Given the continued deterioration of this Futuro over time this is welcome news and hopefully means it will get at least a partial restoration at some point in the not too distant future.

The Age 071770 Page 9By a strange coincidence the same day we came across the Herald Sun article we also came across an article from nearly 50 years ago in the 071770 issue of The Age, a Melbourne based daily newspaper first published in 1854.

The article, titled "Non-flying saucer", reported on a "giant red saucer (that had) landed in Greensborough" describing it as "the latest in way-out architectural design".

The report added that the manufacturer, Futuro Corporation Pty, Ltd., Albury, expected to build 20 plus Futuros in the following couple of months and notes that the "saucers (were) widely used as ski-lodges in Europe". This particular unit was located on a new housing estate where the developer was using it as an office.

Previously referenced documentation on the history of this particular Futuro along with the Herald Sun article referenced above indicate the South Morang Futuro was relocated from Greensborough, where it had been used as an office on a housing development site, in 1989. Given the content of the article in The Age it seems highly likely the Futuro referenced is the one now in South Morang. A better view of the photo that accompanied the article can be found below.

South Morang Futuro - Greensborough - The Age - 071770

Update 100116

The photo below was taken 093016 and posted to Instagram by annasatin. Looks like at least for now another Futuro is being "left to die"; she certainly appears to be deteriorating as time goes on.

South Morang Futuro - annasatin On Instagram - 093016

Update 122415

The three photos below, some of the best we have seen of this Futuro, were posted to Facebook by Terry Smith.

South Morang Futuros - Terry Smith On Facebook - Photo 1

South Morang Futuros - Terry Smith On Facebook - Photo 1

South Morang Futuros - Terry Smith On Facebook - Photo 1

Update 060615

It seems that this Futuro, while still on site, may have been sold. We received an email this week from Phil who has been trying to find a Futuro to purchase. Phil tells us that when he made inquiries about this Futuro he was advised by the current owners that it had in fact been sold.

Though the unit is still on site and the full amount of the purchase has not yet been paid apparently a deposit is being held and the transaction is expected to be completed. The owners would not indicate the sale price but did say it was a "significant amount". There is no information at this time about whether the Futuro will be moved and, if so, where it will be moved to.

Update 021213

We received an email from Ben Bowering this morning. Ben lives in the Melbourne area now but has lived much of his life in Adelaide. He told us he had just been watching a program on ABC television which had featured a short segment on the Futuro House which had brought back a childhood memory of seeing the Deep Creek Futuro way back in the early 70's when it was located on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide. Interestingly Ben recalls his father thinking it was something of an eyesore which seems to have been a not uncommon view at the time.

The TV program was "Nice & Classy", the sixth episode of the Australian TV Show "Myf Warhurst's Nice" which was first broadcast 071812. We managed to find a copy of the program online; the program included Futuro footage from two eras. There is some vintage footage probably from the very early 70's, perhaps even the very tail end of the 60's, showing a Futuro on display at an exhibition. We have not yet been able to determine which exhibition the footage is from or for that matter which country it was shot in.

The second segment of film is contemporary and shows the South Morang Futuro. We were fairly sure it was South Morang as soon as we saw it and the commentary, placing it in "Outer Melbourne", along with the video itself (in particular a shot showing a red roofed building nearby) confirmed it. It is interesting to note that while everything we have come across previously indicates that the Futuro was being used as a storeroom the TV program reports that the Futuro is actually inhabited and that the current tenant is "an Irish backpacker". Certainly the footage shot of the interior indicates an inhabited Futuro.

We are not displaying the video footage here; we are sure it would be some sort of a breach of copyright, so if you would like to see it unfortunately you will have to seek it out yourself as we did. We did however grab some screenshots and they are displayed below. The first group is from the vintage footage and the second is of the South Morang Futuro.

Ben - thanks for sharing your memories and for pointing me in the direction of the TV program.

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 1

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 2

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 3

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 4

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 5

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 6

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 7

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 8

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 9

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 10

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 11

Futuro, Myf Warhurst's Nice 12

Original Information 101611

This Futuro was relocated from 299 Plenty Valley Road, Greensborough north of Melbourne, Australia where it served as a sales office for a local realtor to its current location over 20 years ago. It is currently used as a storage building by the Go-Kart Track at the Grand Prix Training Center in the South Morang suburb of Melbourne.

The Futuro was featured on the cover of the Autumn 2010 issue of Architect Victoria Magazine (Dead - see pdf here) with a short article appearing inside the magazine.

The photo below is by pnutz and was taken 111106. A couple of photos by Dr. Keats from 032108 can be found here and here and caparobertsan took this shot 111008.

Futuro, South Morang, Australia - pnutz

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Personal correspondence with the owner dated 083022.

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