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

Futuro House Espoo/Weegee - TheFuturoHouse.com - 070814



Info, History, Photos


Update 041319

This video was posted to Instagram by kulttuuriespoo 040319. The video is related to a museum competition taking place in 2019 wherein museum visitors will vote for the museum they feel provides the best customer experience for its visitors.

The video promotes the WeeGee Exhibition Center which has reached the final stages of the competition and it includes footage of Futuro #001 starting about 4 seconds in. Having visited ourselves a few years ago we imagine WeeGee will fair well in the competition.


Update 123118

Original and longtime owner of this Futuro, Finnish TV celebrity Matti Kuusla, sadly passed 112218 at the age of 85 (yle.com). Our sympathies go to Matti's family and friends.

Update 090218

The 050518 update to this page detailed the events planned at the WeeGee Exhibition Center to celebrate the Futuro's "50th Birthday". Several videos were published recently that related to one of those events, Mika Taanila's "Plastic Heart" (081718 through 091618). The first two videos were published on Youtube by KulttuuriEspoo on 081518 and the second two were posted to Instagram the same day by futurohouseweegee.



Update 061018

The Espoo City Museum organization includes several other museums along with the WeeGee Exhibition Center and it also includes among its collections a large photographic archive. These photographs are available for use under CC BY-ND 4.0 license and this series of photos, taken by Ilari Järvinen, are included here under that license. The copyright on the photographs remains with the Espoo City Museum and Ilari Järvinen. The full Espoo City Museum archive can be found here.

Ilari Järvinen's photographs are of this Futuro in Hirvensalmi in 2011 shortly before its relocation to WeeGee and they provide a good look at the condition of the Futuro, both exterior and interior, prior to that move and the subsequent restoration of the Futuro once at WeeGee.

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 1

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 2

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 3

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 4

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 5

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 6

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 7

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 8

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 9

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 10

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 11

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 12

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 13

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 14

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 15

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 16

Hirvensalmi 2011 - Photo By Jarvinen, Ilari - Espoo City Museum Collection - 17

Update 050518

As has been the case every year since Futuro #001 was acquired and restored by the WeeGee Exhibition center the Futuro will be open to the public during the summer of 2018 (from 051518 through 091718). However, as 2018 is the Futuro's "50th Birthday", the center is also running several additional Futuro related events and exhibitions and so 2018 would be a perfect year to visit WeeGee should you have the opportunity.

This is the program of 2018 events:

"Futuro World 50 Years" | 051518-123118

In the summer of 2015 the WeeGee Exhibition Center launched an exhibition titled "Futuro World"; it ran from 061615 through 013116. The exhibition was located in "Studio Suuronen" (the old museum shop space - renamed - located in the lobby of the WeeGee Exhibition Center). At the time the WeeGee Exhibition Center website described the exhibition in this way:

"Studio Suuronen will feature the Futuro World exhibition, which showcases the Futuro house, completed in 1968, and its distribution across the globe by means of photographs, captions and map graphics. The exhibition will feature photos of almost 50 Futuro houses from various corners of the world. In addition, there will be some interior photos illustrating their different decoration styles."

As a part of the 2018 celebrations the exhibition is being relaunched as "Futuro World 50 Years" and will run 051518 through 123118.

"Talking About Futuro" | Various Dates 051918-091518

"Talking About Futuro" is a series of lectures that offer a chance to learn more about the Futuro house, the utopian visions of modernism and the inspiration they provided for artists. Details can be found here. The current program is listed below but note that the website carries the disclaimer that the program is subject to change.

"Futuromania - Designing Future Living" | 060618-021719

"Futuromania - Designing Future Living" casts a glimpse back at the futuristic utopias envisioned by Finnish architects and designers back in the 1950s and '60s and will run 060618-021719. The exhibit looks at the bold visions of the future dreamed up by classic Finnish designers over half a century ago and how their utopian ideas about boundless free time and unlimited resources match up with the reality of today?

Residential and urban planning schemes by Aarne Ervi, Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi, Antti Nurmesniemi, Armi Ratia, Aarno Ruusuvuori, Matti Suuronen and Tapio Wirkkala will be presented alongside a new installation by Aamu Song and Johan Olin (Company).

More information can be found here.

"Plastic Heart" | 081718-091618

Mika Taanila's "Plastic Heart" will run 081718 through 091618. "Plastic Heart" tells the "birth story" of the Futuro and is described as being:

"... a multi-channel sound installation paying homage to the Futuro. Taanila created the artwork using only authentic sounds associated with the plastic material from which the Futuro is constructed. Plastic Heart can be heard in August and September inside the Futuro: the oval interior transforms the house into an echo chamber, immersing the visitor in the musical "birth story" of the Futuro."

More information can be found here.

Update 051017

The 2017 summer season at WeeGee is about to start (051617) and will run through 091717. Having visited ourselves back in 2014 we can tell you that WeeGee is well worth a visit if you have the chance; the Futuro is perfectly restored and the staff are extremely knowledgeable about the history of the Futuro House.

Update 070916

Futuro #001 recently received some well deserved publicity and recognition when it was added to the registry of houses maintained by iconichouses.org. Congratulations to everyone who was involved in the restoration of the Futuro and in its ongoing maintenance.

Update 051416

Futuro #001 is once again open to the public. The 2016 summer season at WeeGee started a few days ago (051016) and will run through 091816. Having visited ourselves back in 2014 we can tell you that WeeGee is well worth a visit if you have the chance; the Futuro is perfectly restored and the staff are extremely knowledgeable about the history of the Futuro House.

Update 040316

This recent addition to our collection of "Things Futuro" is probably the most unusual and perhaps unique to date. It is a metal photographic printing plate that features an iconic image of this Futuro in the late 1960's. According to the seller the plate came from the old Polykem factory 15 years or so ago. The plate has no identifying marks and is approximately 8¼" x 5¼" in size.

Futuro #001 Hirvensalmi - Vintage Metal Photographic Printing Plate - Front

Futuro #001 Hirvensalmi - Vintage Metal Photographic Printing Plate - Back

Update 100415

Pentti Sairanen of Mirador Studios is a Finnish VR Tour Photographer who has created a very cool VR Tour of the WeeGee Futuro. The VR Tour can be accessed online on the mirador360.fi website.

The three screenshots are "representative" of the tour but they do not do it justice, you have to check it out. The third screenshot shows an alternate "alien" view which comes complete with video screen and "mood" music.

One point to note; we have a feeling you will need to be using a late version browser for the full experience. We use Chrome where everything worked fine but we also have IE9 installed which we need for some legacy "day job" applications and among other things the video and music was missing in the "alien" version when running it in that browser.

Our thanks to Pentti for creating this great tour. We found it to be one of the best reminders we have come across of our own visit to WeeGee back in 2014 and we think it can give a great perspective of the WeeGee Futuro to those who have never actually had the opportunity to visit.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - VR Tour - Pentti Sairanen - Exterior

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - VR Tour - Pentti Sairanen - Interior

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - VR Tour - Pentti Sairanen -Alien

Update 060615

The YouTube Video below is a commercial for the WeeGee Exhibition Center produced recently by Brink Helsinki. On its Facebook Page the company characterizes itself as a:

"production company specializing in visual storytelling."

The commercial itself is described as being:

"a commercial directed by Alexander Seraidaris for (the) WeeGee exhibition center, where ordinary people try to describe the extraordinary Futuro house designed by Matti Suuronen in the late 60s."

The Futuro at WeeGee opened to the public for the 20105 summer season on May 5th and will be open through 091315. For those who are fortunate enough to be able to visit the center has also added the "Futuro World" exhibition this year which will open 061615 and run through 013115.


Update 122014

"Back in the day" Brett Colquhoun's father was heavily involved with Futuro in New Zealand during which time he acquired several very interesting Futuro photos that Brett has since shared on Instagram and also kindly allowed us to add to this website. They include this photo of Futuro #002 during the time it was located on Lake Lahnajärvi and this photo of a Futuro outside the Polykem plant.

A few days ago Brett also shared the photo below (Brett's original image can be found here). The photo does not carry any indication as to the location but to us it looks mighty like Hirvensalmi. Brett thanks for sharing; looking forward to what you might come up with next.

Futuro, Hirvensalmi - Date Unknown - Brett Colquhoun

Update 081014

Futuro House - WeeGee Visit 2014 On 070814 we were fortunate enough to be able to visit Futuro #001 at the WeeGee Exhibition Center. Not only were we fortunate enough to be able to visit the Futuro but in addition we were also able to visit with Marko Home, Futuro historian and editor of the book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday.

Of course no self respecting "Futuro Nerds" would be able to resist documenting such a visit and so the photo top left is of Marko and Mr.Futuro discussing Futuro #001 (Mr. Futuro being the "vertically challenged" one).

The restored Futuro #001 at WeeGee is the only Futuro House currently restored to the original specifications. The original protoype #000 , which is now in the collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, has actually been restored to a later specification than the one it was manufactured to.

As originally manufactured Futuro #000 would have had the same specifications as we see in the restored Futuro #001 at WeeGee. The original specifications were somewhat "primitive"; notable examples were that the "bedroom" was initially just a storage area with no bed and the "kitchen" had no hot plates or other means of cooking. The restoration of Futuro #000 was to a later standard that was a little more sophisticated; among the list of changes were the addition of a bed and a pair of hot plates in the kitchen. A comparison of photos of the Futuros at WeeGee and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen clearly illustrate these differences.

Below is a selection from the way too many photographs we accumulated while at WeeGee. We are by no means an accomplished photographers and the better shots were probably taken by Mrs. Futuro!

Our visit to WeeGee was a wonderful and memorable event and we would like to thank Marko Home and Futuro Hostess Jaana Kähkönen who made our visit even more memorable.

These first two photographs show the approach to the Exhibition Center and the large mural which is displayed in the entrance lobby. The mural is a 1969 interior shot of the Futuro House that was displayed as a marketing effort in the Stockman Department Store in Helsinki, Finland. The photo features 1968 Miss Finland and Miss Europe Leena Brusiin as a "Futuro Hostess" (this same image is featured on this postcard).

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 1

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 2

During our visit to WeeGee we were accompanied by Marko Home, Futuro historian and editor of the book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday; how could we not have a snap of Marko and Mr. Futuro?

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 3

Each of the Futuros manufactured in Finland had a numbered Polykem plaque affixed to the inside of the entrance steps.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 4

The day we visited WeeGee was a very sunny day and it made for some interesting shadows on some of the exterior shots. We particularly like the last shot with the high focus on the leaves in the foreground, a slight blur of the Futuro and cool lighting (and yes - that was a Mrs. Futuro shot).

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 5

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 6

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 7

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 8

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 9

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 10

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 11

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 12

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 13

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 14

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 15

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 16

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 17

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 18

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 19

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 20

The windows on the upper level of the Exhibition Center are covered with netting; makes for an interesting shot.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 21

The interior of the Futuro; compare to photographs of the restored Futuro #000 at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam to get a feel for how "primitive" the original Futuro specs were compared to later more sophisticated specifications.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 22

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 23

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 24

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 25

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 26

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 27

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 28

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 29

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 30

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 31

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 32

In the kitchen note the absence of any means of actually cooking.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 33

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 34

In the "bedroom" (the first photo) note the absence of a bed.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 35

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 36

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 37

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 38

This pair of photos shows on the right the vent on the lower surface of the Futuro for the heating and a/c system and on the left can be seen the control handle to open and close the vent. Heat or cool air was actually passed through conduits under the floor of the Futuro and entered the unit through vents at the rear of the chair/bed units.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 39

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 40

The winding, pulley mechanism for raising and lowering the steps was rather rudimentary.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 41

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 42

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 43

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - 070814 - 44

Update 042714

For those who have a chance to visit the Futuro will once again be open to the public through the summer starting 051314.

Craig Barnes, owner of "Futuro 22" visited Finland in 2013 on a research trip associated with his restoration project. While he was there he shot footage of the Futuro on display at the WeeGee Exhibition Center. The video below was added to Craig's "Futuro Restoration Diary" a day or two ago and to Youtube on 032814. It provides us with an awesome "virtual visit" to Futuro #001. Thanks for sharing this excellent footage Craig.


Update 061613

The Futuro is now open to the public again and will be so from 051413 through 090113 (WeeGee Exhibition Center website).

Update 103112

The WeeGee Futuro is rapidly becoming the most photographed, perhaps not surprising given its superb restoration and the fact that it is on display to the public. The two pictures below are each a little bit different in their own way and are a couple of favorites of ours.

The first is a very cool shot taken through trees by ConnectIrmeli on 101913 and the second is a very atmospheric black and white shot by Elektrojänis taken 072012. Both are displayed here under CC 2.0

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Connectirmeli 101913

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - elektrojanis 072012

Update 100812

So, if you were planning on visiting the Futuro at the WeeGee Exhibition Center we have some bad news for you; as of 091612 the exhibit is no longer open to the public. The good news; Marko Home has confirmed that the Futuro will remain at the center and the plan is to open it to the public again in summer 2013 (thanks for the update Marko).

Update 091612

And the great photography in Espoo continues unabated! Marko Saari held a photo shoot at the WeeGee Futuro 070212. The photos feature superb photography by Marko, the Futuro and beautiful model Mona. Two of these great photographs are displayed below with Marko's permission and you can check out the full set here.

In addition the video below was made during the shoot; it provides an interesting insight into the shoot itself and also features some cool footage of the Futuro. The original of the video can be found on Vimeo here.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Marko Saari Photo Shoot 1
© Marko Saari | From The Photo Set Futuro

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Marko Saari Photo Shoot 2
© Marko Saari | From The Photo Set Futuro


Update 090812

With this Futuro being on display and open to the public there are many many photographs around the web and we had not intended to add any more but then we saw an awesome set on Flickr by Christophe Brutel taken 090212.

With Christophe's permission some of these are shown below but make sure to follow the link and check out the whole set. There are some cool interior shots and we particularly like the photos taken using the spherical filter (our description - we are sure there is a correct technical name for that type of filter but not being photographers we have no idea what it is). The first photo is probably our favorite Futuro photo.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Christophe 1

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Christophe 2

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Christophe 3

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Christophe 4

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Christophe 5

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Christophe 6

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Christophe 7

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Christophe 8

Update 080212

aboturku posted this great video of the WeeGee Futuro which showcases some of the photographs and other items accompanying the exhibit and features great footage of both the exterior and interior of the Futuro.


The set of eight images below shows the Futuro as it goes through the reconstruction and refurbishment process. These pictures are reproduced here with the kind permission of Marko Home, the Producer of the WeeGee Futuro Exhibtion and editor of the definitive Futuro Book "Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday". You can find the original posting of these images by Marko on the WeeGee Futuro House Facebook Page where you will also find some commentary to go along with the images.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Construction & Refurbishment 1

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Construction & Refurbishment 2

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Construction & Refurbishment 3

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Construction & Refurbishment 4

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Construction & Refurbishment 5

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Construction & Refurbishment 6

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Construction & Refurbishment 7

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Construction & Refurbishment 8

Another really cool photo of the Futuro reflected in the windows of the Exhibition Center was taken by Cidoc12 Helsinki on 050812 and is displayed with permission.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - Reflections 2

Update 080112

One of the pages on the World Design Capital | Helsinki 2012 Website discusses the Futuro 2012 Program in Espoo. There are some great photos of the Futuro there taken during transport and reconstruction.

As well as having the Futuro on display to the public through 091612 there will be screenings of Mika Taanila's 1998 film "Futuro - A New Stance for Tomorrow, a small exhibition featuring the utopian world of Futuro and speeches by Futuro experts. If you are anywhere close make sure to stop by; we are sure it will be well worth it.

Among the many visitors to the exhibition in Espoo has been lwsdm who visited on 061212 and took this marvellous set of photos reproduced here under CC 2.0.

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 1

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 2

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 3

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 4

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 5

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 6

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 7

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 8

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 9

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 10

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 11

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 12

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 13

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 14

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 15

Futuro, Espoo, Finland - lwsdm - 16

Update 071712

Futuro #001 was purchased by the City of Espoo, Finland and it has now been restored and is on display at the WeeGee Exhibition Center. A press release originally dated 041111 can be found here.

The WeeGee website indicates that the restored Futuro will be open to the public 050812 through 091612. Running in tandem will be screenings of Mika Taanila's film "Futuro - A New Stance for Tomorrow" along with Group Tours and talks by Futuro experts. Further details can be found on the WeeGee site here. Futuro #001 will then stay on site and will be open to the public again in the summer of 2013.

There are some great photographs of the Futuro on the WeeGee Futuro House Facebook Page and in particlular there are some great shots of the Futuro in various stages of construction.

The WeeGee Exhibition Center is located at Ahertajantie 5, 02100 Espoo, Finland; we have not added any maps at this time since we can find no imagery recent enough to show the Futuro on site.

The purchase and subsequent restoration of Futuro #001 prompted a 051012 article by Justin McGuirk title "Futuro - the ideal home that wasn't" in the British national daily newspaper The Guardian which can be found here.

Lewis Martin posted this great photo of the fully restored Futuro on Flickr under a Creative Commons 2.0 License - thanks for publishing your work under CC Lewis.

Futuro, WeeGee Exhibition Center, Finland

Original Information 110111

Futuro #001 has been owned by TV celebrity Matti Kuusla since its manufacture. It is worth noting that despite #001 numbering this was not the first Futuro manufactured - the prototype was #000 and that Futuro has been fully restored and is on display at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Futuro has spent its life on a lakeside property in Hirvensalmi where, mainly because it has never had an electrical supply, it has been only used in a very limited way.

The Futuro is not in the best condition and it was this that prompted Anna-Maija Kuitunen's to write her thesis which was largely about the current condition of Futuro #001 and the process that might be used to restore and preserve it as an iconic piece of Finnish architecture. The thesis "Futuro no. 001 : Documentation and evaluation of preservation need" was written by Kuitunen as her final thesis for the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. This thesis is freely available online here.

The photo below of this Futuro is from Anna-Maija Kuitunen's thesis.

Futuro, Hirvensalmi, Finland

Sources
In Books & Magazines
Latest Confirmation

WeeGee - Latest Confirmation - 120219 - juliomiguelThis photograph by juliomiguel taken 120219.

The original photograph can be seen on Instagram here.

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