TheFuturoHouse.com | Latest Site News & Updates
- Location | Tingtão Rd, Wanli District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 207
- Lat/Long | 25°11'13.90"N 121°41'10.25"E
- Image By cypherone | 101908
- Google Maps | 032019
- Latest Confirmation | 063021
Information Update History
, published in Helsinki, is the largest Finnish daily newspaper. They recently published an article on the Wanli site.
The article, published digitally 051421 (not sure whether or not it was published in the physical newspaper), was titled "Lensivätkö suomalaisufot Taiwaniin?
" or "Did the Finnish UFOs fly to Taiwan?"
Marko Home, Futuro historian and co-author of the iconic book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday
was interviewed by the article's author Mari Manninen, the Chinese correspondent of Helsingin Sanomat.
As has been the case many times over the years Marko was kind enough to share information with us. He tells us that Mari Manninen is:
" ... a Finnish person who lives in Taiwan, speaks Chinese and writes articles in Finnish for Helsingin Sanomat about various topics in China and Taiwan. She visited Wanli with a photographer and interviewed couple of local people there. Some of the information in her article is based on a book written and published in Chinese by businessman Su Ming (1922-2000) who started the Wanli holiday village with Futuro and Venturo copies back in 1980.
Marko added that Mari had called him to check on a couple of Futuro facts.
The article, which basically confirms what we had previously known about Wanli but adds color and detail, is behind a pay wall; it can be accessed by signing up for "one month free" but that does require a credit card and so we decided not to do that, easy to forget to cancel a free tiral and end up with recurring payments.
Marko to the rescue; he very kindly sent us a summary of the article along with his own annotations and comments. Rather than rewrite and paraphrase what Marko said we felt it best to simply allow Marko's own words to tell the story here:
"The Taiwanese businessman Su Ming (1922-2000) saw Futuro in Japan in the early 1970s. (As we know from Matti Suuronen's CV two Futuros manufactured by Polykem were exported from Finland to Japan in 1972.) After that Su Ming wanted to contact the Futuro manufacture in Finland. He travelled to Finland in 1975, met Matti Suuronen and the CEO of Polykem Ensio Söderstöm. He also visited the Polykem factory.
Su Ming claims in his book that during his visit to Finland he learned that Futuro has serious "leaking problems", which is why he decided to design its copy instead of licensing the Futuro's manufacturing rights from Polykem. I think Su Ming's claim about the Futuro's "leaking problems" is just an excuse by which he is trying to explain why he started to make unauthorized in other word illegal Futuro and Venturo copies. Like any house Futuro can have leaking problems if not maintained properly, but as far as I know leaking is not a common problem in Futuros.
Su Ming started to build the Wanli holiday village of Futuro and Venturo copies in the year 1980. Altogether the village had 100 houses, mostly Venturo copies but also some Futuro copies.
In the beginning the Wanli holiday village was very popular and wealthy people bought these Futuro and Venturo copies with great location by the sea. However, for some reason by the late 1980s some of the houses had already been abandoned and the Wanli village started to perish.
Nowadays the Wanli village is mostly owned by a construction company who is planning to build new holiday houses there, which would apparently mean that they would have to demolish the derelict Futuro and Venturo copies. Some of the houses have already been demolished.
One Futuro copy was moved from Wanli to a town called Taoyuan and renovated by the construction company for PR purposes.
A couple of Venturo copies are still owned by private persons who are not willing to sell their houses to the construction company and use them as holiday houses.
The local surfers occasionally bunk in some of the Futuro copies that are otherwise deserted.
An elderly couple who uses their Venturo copy in Wanli as a weekend cottage is interviewed in the article. They tell that they paid 300,000 Euros for their Venturo copy and its renovation including the tiny piece of land on which their house is located.
A guy who assembled the Futuro and Venturo copies in Wanli back in 1980 is also interviewed in the article and has fond memories from the 1980s when this holiday village was still flourishing.
Marko, once again thank you so much for providing this information; and hopefully you do not mind our "laziness" in this "copy and paste job".
In a recent email Chad DeBaker sent us a link to an interesting video
on Youtube. The video, titled "The "gimmick" in the new case of the "spending a million" relocation of the UFO house creates a check-in point" according to Google Translate, was posted to Youtube by TVBS News
We cannot understand the commentary but Chad tells us that the site is being redeveloped next year and that two of the Futuro replica units have been refurbished for auction. If they sell and make a profit likely some, if not all, of the others would get the same treatment. If not they would be demolished.
A second video
titled "Refurbishment of Bay New Town" posted by Dongsen News CH51
112720 is accompanied by this description:
"The three mysterious spots on the north coast of the past will have a new look. Like the Bay New Town, a whole row of community buildings. Because the residents are moving one after another, it is like a dead city. There are homeowners forming a management committee to discuss the renovation; there is also a space exquisite house next to Emerald Bay, and it is also reported that the builders bought 80% The land is intended to be converted into a resort; while the rural club, the surrounding area is converted into a park.
Frankly we are not 100% clear exactly what all of that actually means (or even how accurate the machine translation by Google is) other than it does indicate "something" is going on. It will be interesting to see what transpires in 2021.
We love this photo from Zach Praeger
; not only is it a black and white shot but it has such an interesting composition with the foreground in focus and the Futuros blurred in the background.
Ting Na Wang, who has made several contributions to these pages, recently sent us this photo.
Every photo we have previously seen of the Wanli site has been from a time when the site was in some stage of decline. This photo is interesting in that though undated it is clearly from a time when the site was in its heyday and "full of life". Ting Na added that:
"When it was a popular attraction, tourist and village residents would camp right by the shore."
Seeing the site like this is a reminder how sad it is that the site is now largely derelict and devoid of life.
, titled "Abandoned UFO houses (Futuro House Clone) in Taiwan", includes some great drone footage of the Wanli site. It was posted to Youtube by Corey Wong
by Vaan & Bibby
was added to Youtube recently. It includes some nice footage of the Wanli site starting around 7:47 into the video.
Video footage of Wanli appears on the internet with some frequency; the videos below are a selection of those that have appeared recently. The first is a video
posted to Youtube 081818 by Eileen Aldis
; the video is over 18 minutes long and features some great aerial footage of Wanli along with great shots of both exterior and interior of some of the units.
Eileen offers some commentary on the history of the site; not too sure where the theories come from but they are interesting nonetheless and largely revolve around why the site was abandoned in 1980 and not used since.
Those theories may or may not be true but the site has not, at least to our knowledge, been completely abandoned since 1980 and there are many photos, videos and commentaries that have appeared online over the years that suggest people have been living on the site (though perhaps Eileen's theory of squatters might explain that).
As for why the site was abandoned in the first place around 1980; Eileen offers the theory that bad luck and deaths on the site caused the superstitious locals to abandon the site. The source of that bad luck? Either because the site was actually a burial site for some 70,000 Dutch soldiers whose spirits were thought to haunt the site or because a Chinese Dragon at the site entrance was destroyed which in Chinese mythology would certainly be a catalyst for bad luck. It is entirely possible the full story will remain the "mystery" Eileen suggests it is.
posted these two videos to Youtube 081618. The first is some nice footage of the interior of one of the units and the other is a "walkabout" the site.
recently added this footage of the interior of one of the units at Wanli to Youtube.
Alexander Synaptic (synapticism.com
) has visited Wanli several times and each time he has kindly shared information and photographs with us. His 060714
report was one of several that referenced ongoing demolition work at the site and he chronicled the fact that four of the Futuros had "vanished" from the site; possibly removed but, based on other evidence, most likely demolished.
A year on it seems like the demolition activity has stopped, or at least paused. Alexander visited Wanli again 051715 and he tells us that the Futuro count remains unchanged from his previous visit and he goes on to add that:
"Demolition has not continued and, in fact, the site seems to have undergone a bit of renewal. There were several people around when I visited, some of them having barbecues in front of their Venturo homes. I also saw a Venturo converted for use as a security office with a man at the desk eying me warily. It may just be that it's a weekend... or perhaps there's been some renewed interest in the site.
Alexander goes on to note that the condition of the Futuro units on the site was about the same with the only noticeable difference being:
"... that the northernmost of the Futuros seemed to have more stuff laying around the kitchen, almost as if the owners had been by to clean out some of the garbage and perhaps even restore it for use as a holiday home once again.
Alexander shared a few photos from his May visit which can be found below; the original set can be found on Flickr
and, as always, more of Alexander's work can be found on his website
. Our thanks to Alexander for providing this update and sharing his first class photography.
Along with the update and photos of Wanli Alexander also sent me a link to an article titled "Taiwan dreamscapes: experiments from the leading edge of generative art
" on his website synapticism.com
which features images he has generated while experimenting with Google's "deepdream project
For an explanation of what the "deepdream project
" actually is check out Alexander's article
and while you are there take a look at the interesting and rather unusual images generated.
One of the images resulting from Alexanders work can be seen below (the original can be found on his website here
) and is the end result of processing one of Alexander's photos of Wanli. The resulting image is certainly surreal and though it is entirely different for some reason it reminds us of Salvador Dali's
work. Our thanks to Alexander for again sharing his work.
Australian musician Bruce Stringer
is described by Music Street Journal
(where he is a staff member) as:
"... an Australian guitarist who has played internationally and worked on various independent soundtracks and theme-scores.
Bruce recently contacted us (at almost the same time as Alexander did) regarding his current CD, Ωne
, which features artwork based on photos taken at Wanli and he even sent us a copy. Along with the CD Bruce also sent a promotional guitar pick
for the CD and a nice set of photos shot at Wanli which can be found below. Many thanks Bruce.
For anyone who might be interested in obtaining the CD it is available as a digital download at CDBaby
and as a physical CD on E-Bay
On 082314 John Wheatley visited Wanli and shared with us what he found that day along with a set of photos which can be seen below. Thanks John.
One of the things John was able to do was annotate a photograph with the locations of each of the Futuros; a version of that photograph can also be found below. It should be noted that some of the units are hidden by trees. John also took a series of interior photographs; notable in one was the angled end of the bed.
John confirmed that there were several Venturos which appeared to have been "upgraded/restored" and which were still inhabited. As for the Futuros that is not the case and the only one remaining occupied is the "hidden Futuro." John tells us that:
"The hidden Futuro is indeed occupied - you can see the tattooed Yakuza-looking gentleman on the front porch, and also there was a group of students doing a barbeque on the front corner of the lot when I left.
As for the site in general and its future John has this to say:
"From the Ting-Na Wang story, I can say that there is little hope that anything will remain - "renovated into villas" means that the company will just do a subdivision or condo there, and then give one condo or villa to the people who have not yet bought in. If they have a 20 story condo unit (that site is pretty big by Taiwanese standards) then they can probably afford to do that. But you can bet they will do the same to the Futuros, unless they think there is money in saving them.
The area to the west of the Wanli site is actually a graveyard (the first of the photographs below indicates the approximate area of this graveyard). John suggests that in that fact may lie the only small hope the site has for anything other than a future that sees the demise of the remaining Futuros and Venturos:
"The only hope will be the graveyard making investors wary. By Taiwanese standards, that is REALLY close for a graveyard. However, the younger generation might just say they don't care for cheap oceanfront property.
Back in June we added an update
to this page based on a visit by Alexander Synaptic
) to Wanli on 052914. This was a second visit by Alexander; on his first visit he shot a great set of photographs which can be seen here
. Alexander also shared some of the shots he took on his second visit.
We thought it might be interesting to do something a little different and so using those photographs and with Alexander's assistance and permission we have created this image map
which includes photos that are identified to each of the specific Futuro locations on the site. Thanks for your help Alexander and for allowing us to use your awesome photographs.
The first three of John's photos were shot from the hotel next to the site and they provide a good overall perspective on the Wanli site. In the first shot the highlighted rectangle indicates the approximate area of a graveyard which sits adjacent to the Wanli site to the west. The third photo is marked with the location of each of the Futuros that still exists. Original copies of the first and third photographs without the annotation can be found here
It is interesting to note in the first of these interior shots how the end of the bed is angled.
The units carry an identification plate; but that said we have absolutely no idea what the markings and numbers mean.
A day or two ago we received an email from Ting-Na Wang who sent us a link to this webpage
(Chinese - English version courtesy of Google Translate here
). Google Translate does a good job with some languages but is not so "smart" when it comes to others - Chinese is one of the ones that falls into the latter category - funnily enough if you use Chrome and allow the browser to translate rather than using Google Translate the translation is better (though still not good) which is odd since Chrome is Google's browser.
Whichever method of translation we used it was still difficult to really understand the article but thankfully Ting Na also included in the email a summary of the article. Ting-Na tells us that the article was published in a real estate news category way back on 111011. In Ting-Na's own words the article states that:
"... the whole site has been purchased by a construction company named Tai-She. They are planning to demolish the abandoned site and build luxurious vacation hotels. In order to do this they contacted all the property owners individually including the few residents who still live there. So far they've purchased 70 Futuro/Venturo units out of 100, and will cooperate with the rest of the residents and renovate their units into individual villas (not sure what that means) ...
Ting-Na goes on to tell us that (assuming the article is true - and the current construction activity suggests to us it probably is) Tai-She indicate that due to the fame and historical value of the site they are considering preserving a few of the units and opening them to the public.
Finally as an interesting "side note" it seems the Futuro and Venturo units are (at least according to Google's ability to translate Chinese) known respectively as the "egg-shaped" and "cake box type" units.
Our thanks to Ting-Na for the information and, most importantly, for the translation.
(who took the awesome set of photos included in 121313 update
below) emailed us a few days ago with an update on Wanli after making another visit to the site on 052914. It seems that there has indeed been some demolition activity and in fact there was a crew dismantling a Venturo as Alexander arrived at the site. There was a security guard present during Alexander's visit and he was expressly forbidden from entering any of the units but he was able to get a good look around the site.
Most striking is the absence of many units and Alexander tells us there is no sign of them (and no wreckage). The custom Google Map (041114 satellite imagery) below shows the remaining Futuro units (blue markers plus one red one showing the "hidden" Futuro location), the one time locations of four that are no longer there (purple markers) and also highlights an area which was covered with Futuro and Venturo units that is now just a grassy area. You can access a larger screenshot of the map here
or click the icon to view full screen for the best interactive view.
While we cannot be sure that the units that have gone were demolished rather than moved given the earlier video evidence of demolition and the fact that a Venturo was being dismantled while Alexander was at the site we believe it is reasonable to assume that the four units that have gone were indeed demolished; nine Futuro units remain (at least for now).
Alexander added that none of the Futuros are occupied (though several Venturos do appear to be occupied). The one exception might be the "hidden" Futuro; Alexander tells us that it was not possible to tell if it was actually occupied but that it was clearly not abandoned. One Futuro is open to the elements and totally trashed inside and the others are in various states of disrepair.
Finally Alexander told us that a Taiwanese friend had told him that the 041614 Facebook post referenced below
refers to a student project and not to a "real world" plan so sadly it looks like there will be no redemption for the Wanli site.
Facebook's inbuilt "translate" function (which appears to give us an idea of what is being said but not to be able to give us a "true" translation) tells us that the posting reads in part:
"The Wanil Futuro House, a unique exterior with simplicity style, nevertheless long deserted house, is coming to go under the hammer. To save this architecture and solve the issue on unfitness of dwelling, we hope not only to conserve its modern and exceptional shape of exterior but also renovate interior design and landscape into an eco resort on the beautiful Wanil coastline. We combined ecological conservation into our design concept by substituting wave energy dissipating concrete block for bioblocks to protect marine environment and increase marine productivity. In consequence, the creatures parasitize in bioblocks and guests stay in the Wanil Futuro House share the same affection that symbolize the prosperity of the costal ecological environment and the conservation of the Wanil Futuro House.
To be honest even with the translation we are not absolutely sure what is being said. There is reference to Wanli "coming to go under the hammer" which is perhaps a reference to an auction of some sort or maybe just simply a bad translation of some reference to a renovation. The page is associated with a university and so it may be a posting relating to a student project rather than a real world one. In any case we read of a plan (fictional or otherwise) which seems to involve turning Wanli into some sort of eco resort while at the same time preserving and renovating the existing buildings.
Evidence suggests Wanli is in a bad way and deteriorating further so a plan to restore and preserve the site and at the same time make the site "green" would get a vote of support from us (if of course our vote was in any way relevant). That said the artist's inpression does not show much in the way of Futuro though venturo is well represented. There is only one complete Futuro shaped structure that we can see (and that shows no windows) located front left and a couple of "quadrants" behind it. If there is a real plan to rennovate and preserve the site we sincerely hope it includes the Futuros.
We would love to hear from anyone
who might know more about this and in particular whether this is a student "project" or a real world plan to do something with Wanli.
While we have never been certain whether the Wanli units are Futuros, modified Futuros, copies of Futuros or just some weird coincidence (and to be frank we are still not certain) they do hold an interest for us and so this video, which appears to show the demolition of the Wanli site, was somewhat disconcerting when we saw it for the first time.
We came across the video when a link was sent to us a couple of months ago by Helen (thank you Helen) who commented:
"I just came across a disturbing video, which I can only characterize as a snuff film for those of us who love Futuros
Our reaction was similar to Helen's; even if the units are not "true" Futuros we have always been of the opinion that things "out of the ordinary" deserve to be preserved and Wanli is anything but an "ordinary" place.
We checked out Google Maps and Google Earth but the latest satellite imagery available is dated 070711 before the reported demolition and we could not find anything else online about demolition activity so we filed the information away and figured sooner or later we would come across something that would confirm or refute the reported demolition.
On another front just this last week we were contacted by Alexander Synaptic
) who told us about a set of photos he had captured recently at Wanli. Alexander kindly offered the option to display his pictures, taken 100313, here and a selection from his set is displayed below with Alexander's kind permission. The set is truly awesome and we highly recommend you take a look at the whole set on Flickr
What is interesting about the set other than the quality of the photography, which is impressive, is that while there are signs of some demolition there are clearly many units left and though their condition appears much further degraded, particularly looking at the interior shots, from that seen in earlier photos they are nevertheless still standing and clearly not "demolished" as we saw in the video. Interestingly we do see Venturos that show signs of demolition but the Futuros in general while clearly in decline seem almost untouched. What is not clear from the set is whether all of the Futuros remain or just some. If anyone can shed any light on that we would appreciate you letting us know
In the meantime we will continue to hold out the hope that somehow the site will be saved and perhaps even restored to its former glory and in the absence of conclusive evidence to the contrary we will leave our "count" at Wanli at 13 units (not of course including the Venturos).
took an awesome series of photos of Wanli during the period between 221108 and 141208. With Peggie's permission a few of these photos are displayed below; you can check out the complete set on Flickr
A new set of photos
of Wanli by picturenarrative make the latest confirmed date we have for this site 010912.
After a further look at some of the many photos taken at Wanli we believe it is possible to positively identify the building which houses the "hidden" Futuro despite the fact that it cannot be seen in Google Maps or Google Earth.
The image below shows Wanli from Google Maps. The superimposed photo is this one
from the great set of photos by city tales
. From that photo we see that we are looking towards the ocean and the "hidden" Futuro. We also see a Venturo on the left of the picture and another Futuro to the right. The "hidden" Futuro is located in a rectangular building. There is only one place on the site where such a photo could have been taken and the position is roughly indicated by the arrow at the bottom right of the image below.
Christopher M Collins
recounts a little history he was able to uncover on the Wanli site in an article titled Formosan Futuro Village
that can be found on ezinearticles.com
Collins visited Wanli and during the course of the visit he talked with several people about the site. Collins recounts his findings along with his impressions of Wanli in his ezine article.
It seems that one Mr. Su Ming, a Taiwanese businessman, was responsible for Wanli. A man with military background and an entrepreneurial spirit Ming made his money in part with, of all things, Sarsaparilla soda. Of this perhaps unlikely venture Collins says:
In its beginning days, it wasn't very popular with the local's taste buds and got off to a slow start. However, with the American establishment of military bases in Taiwan as a post for the great East Asia, western tastes for both culture and foods began to develop in the country. Along with this, Mr. Su Ming's carbonated beverage sales exploded and he established a new factory, becoming a new rich member of high society.
Ming began to look for investment opportunities so he could increase his new found wealth further and he decided that there was a market for upscale vacation homes. Determining that water sports and beach front living would be the draw his property needed Ming purchased a picturesque beach front property on the north coast of Taiwan. Ming then proceeded to "populate" the property with "futuristic" Venturos and Futuros.
Priced for the very wealthy, around $94,000 in today's money, movement on the units was slow and Ming's investors eventually lost interest leaving the project unfunded. The local property manager explained to Collins that the issue was not that investors could not afford the units but that they were wealthy enough to vacation in much more exotic locations around the world and were not sufficiently interested in simple beach vacations at home.
Another local who provided some insight into Wanli's history said that in actual fact the site Ming had chosen was perhaps not as well thought out as it could have been. She said that the area was subject to extremes of weather with the summers being long and unbearably hot and the winter's bringing very high winds and crashing cold seas. She indicated that the site had been vacant for some 20 - 20 years.
One of the most intriguing things about the article is some of the detail that Collins recounts. Despite the length of time the site has been abandoned he says that:
"I did venture into a few of the homes that weren't barricaded with wooden pole and barbed wire locks for a better look. I found Japanese influenced tatami rooms, twin beds with sheets still on them, and even toothbrushes alongside a bottle of head and shoulders shampoo in one bathroom.
Some of the photographs of Wanli show such detail and to be honest make it look as though some of the units are still inhabited; check out these two images from the superb set by Peggie Scott
I see toothbrushes, tissues, towels, bed sheets (exactly what Collins reported) and all sorts of evidence of "habitation" but every visitor to the site seems to report that the site is uninhabited and abandoned. Intriguing!
Check out Christopher M Collins' article here
; it makes for an interesting read.
Finally for this update this video
by vikilintw uploaded to YouTube 111111 features some stills but also some live footage of Wanli.
Original Information 100211
Though there are a few examples of two Futuros located on a single site (Kvistgård
) almost all of the remaining Futuros are located one to a site. The one major exception is Wanli
in New Tapai City
on the Northern coast of Taiwan
where there are no fewer than 13 Futuros along with a much larger number of Venturos
. Though this is the largest concentration of Futuros known there appears to be very little information on the web (at least that we can find) about how or why the complex came to be built, what its purpose was (the most common theory is a collection of holiday homes) or how it ended up in the deserted and abandoned state it is now in.
The complex at Wanli is usually credited as containing 12 Futuros and the following screen shot from Google Maps clearly shows the 12.
However there is documented evidence of there actually being at least 13 Futuros on site with one being "built in" to another building and covered with a conventional roof which makes it impossible to identify (at least to us so far) on Google Maps; whichever building it is in it is clearly not one of the 12 identified on the image below so we believe the count for Wanli is 13 as a minimum.
The "hidden" Futuro can be clearly seen in the two images below from the stunning set by Peggie Scott
by murapo47 was uploaded July 2nd 2011. The video is a montage of nice stills of the complex at Wanli and confirms that as at 2011 the complex remains in the same abandoned state that it has been in for some time.
The following are a few shots from the beautiful collection of images of Wanli by cypherone
). You can see more of this great collection of images on Flickr
And if you need more photos check out these links:
- Another great collection from city tales dated Feb 2010
- A cool group of photos from Badger 23 dated 111009
This photograph by david_zarzoso
The original photograph can be seen on Instagram here