Espoo City Museum Collection
The Espoo City Museum
organization includes several museums among them being the WeeGee Exhibition Center
which is the home of the fully restored Futuro #001
previously located in Hirvensalmi
The museum's collections include a large Futuro photographic archive. These photos are available for use under CC BY-ND 4.0
license and are shared here under that license. All photographs in this section of the site are copyright the Espoo City Museum. Individual photographers, where known, are credited in the appropriate sections below. The original archive can be found here
These four photos carry the description (according to Google Translate) "Futuro houses are possibly erected in the exhibition hall". They are listed as being from the time period 1970-1979 and the photographer is unknown.
Based on a comparison to various other photos in our collection, among them this press photo
dating from 042568, we are of the opinion that they more likely date from 1968 and depict a Futuro, quite possibly Futuro #000
, during various stages of assembly at the Polykem plant in Hiekkaharju
A Futuro was exhibited as a part of the Radar International Environment & Urban Art Exhibition in Kotka, Finland
in 1990. Radar featured works by 16 artists and among them was Helsinki born Jussi Kivi
. Kivi's contribution to Radar was an installation titled "The Eagle Has Landed - Unidentified Flying Object - An Exhibition About UFOs".
Kivi's installation consisted of two containers containing various UFO related paraphernalia along with Matti Suuronen's original prototype Futuro #000
rented for the purpose. A little more information about Radar and "The Eagle Has Landed" can be found here
This series of photographs carry the description (according to Google Translate) "The prototype of the Futuro House will be erected by the artist Jussi Kivi's "The Eagle Has Landed" installation". They are listed as being by an unknown photographer.
, now in the collection of the WeeGee Exhibition Center
(as of 2012), was previously located in Hirvensalmi
This series of photographs provide a great look at the Futuro, both exterior and interior, as it appeared in 2011 shortly before it was relocated to Espoo. The photographs were taken by Ilari Järvinen.
In 1969 (based on the dating of these photographs) a series of Futuro models were set up in a "sandbox" environment and photographed. These photographs are often reproduced and are perhaps among the most "iconic" of all Futuro images. Even the cover of the "Futuro Bible", "Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday
" edited by Marko Home & Mika Taanila features one of these images (in color).
This extensive series of black and white photographs, titled according to Google Translate "Futuro-house models "in the mountains", described in a sandbox at Tuusula Anttila" was shot by Mauri Korhonen. The archive dates the photographs as being from 1969.
The Espoo City Museum archive includes these two drawings. They are not actually credited to anyone though the descriptions suggest they were by Matti Suuronen. Based on Google Translate the drawings are described as "Draft by Matti Suurosen, outline buildings like Venturo and Futuro houses" and "Draft of Matti Suurosen, Hôtel Futuro" respectively.
This series of photographs (and the single drawing) all relate to the "two story" variant of the Futuro and specifically to the Futuro still located in Hurzuf
The photographs descriptions (according to Google Translate) are as follows:
- Men in the yard of a restaurant built in the Futuro House, a house ordered by the Soviet Union in the courtyard of Oy Polykem Ab
- Soviet Union was ordered in the courtyard of the Futuro Restaurant Ltd. Polykem Ab (two photos)
- Ordered for the Soviet Union in the yard of Futuro Restaurant Ltd Polykem Ab, in the foreground of Casa Finlandia CF-16
- Futuro house with garden furniture
- Perspective view, Oy Polykem Ab movable building Casa Finlandia CF Futuro, interior
None of the photos are attributed to a photographer. The first four photographs show the Futuro in the yard of the Polykem plant in Ruotsinpyhtää and are dated 1977; this date accords with known information regarding the date manufacture of the two story variant Futuro for delivery to The Crimea (see "The Finnish 20
The last photograph shows the Futuro as installed in Hurzuf. It is dated 1970-1975 which is certainly incorrect as the unit was not manufactured until 1977 so most likely it dates from 1977 or thereabouts.
The interior drawing is not specifically noted as relating to the two story variant or the Hurzuf Futuro in particular but given the date on the drawing, the notations "Sputnik" and "Krim" (Crimea) on the drawing along with the pattern of squares seen in the interior decor which exactly matches the pattern of squares seen on peripheral objects (stairway cladding, circular seats, walls) in the photographs it seems to us almost certain the drawing does relate to the two story variant and specifically to the Hurzuf Futuro.
WeeGee Exhibition Center April 2012
, originally located in Hirvensalmi
, was acquired by the WeeGee Exhibition Center
in 2012, restored and is now open to the public each summer.
This series of photographs all carry the same description "Futuro arrives at WeeGee House on April 25, 2012" but we have a feeling they might not all have been taken the same day. The first three photographs were taken by Marja Sahlberg and likely were shot 042512 when the Futuro was delivered to WeeGee. The last two photos are by Tryggve Gestrin and, we suspect, were taken a little later during the process of assembly and installation of the Futuro.
The De Martini Collection
Alfred E. De Martini
(1916-2005) was a well known graphic artist, entrepreneur and civic activist. The De Martini Graphic Design Collection gathers together many examples of De Martini's work. TheFuturoHouse.com
recently acquired Volume E/F of the collection and this includes several Futuro related items. At some point we will likely remove and preserve the Futuro items and attempt to reunite the volume with the remainder of the collection but for now it will remain a part of the collections of TheFuturoHouse.com
It is unclear whether the collection was created and maintained by De Martini himself though we tend to think it was put together later. As far as the Futuro section is concerned we have no information as to whether De Martini was actually contracted to do any Futuro design related work or if his concept drawings and apparent interest in the Futuro House were something he worked on himself, perhaps with a plan to later offer that work to someone involved with Futuro. If he was retained to do any work you would have to assume that it would have been for the Futuro Corporation Of Philadelphia.
The first three pages of Futuro related material (left & below) contain various color drawings depicting ideas and designs for the interior of a Futuro. The first of these pages is titled "Conceptual Studies For Futuro Interior".
The conceptual design appears to devote a one quarter section of the Futuro to an enclosed bedroom and bathroom with the remainder of the unit being "open plan". There appear to be a couple of alternatives depicted for the space above the bedroom and bathroom; in several drawings it appears that the roof of this section would be lowered with storage space above while in the last drawing the bedroom and bathroom are denoted as having an "open ceiling".
The next couple of pages of the volume contain a number of rudimentary conceptual drawings (or perhaps they would be more accurately termed sketches).
The first of these is a single page with three sketches of different exterior configurations; they appear to depict a "standard" support structure and then two views of a pair of Futuros mounted on a higher structure featuring a "walkway" between the two units and access to them being a single set of steps to the central walkway.
The second page contains a set of seven sketches that appear to depict various different internal configurations that might be considered for a Futuro. Among others those configurations include different numbers of bedrooms, centrally located kitchens and kitchens located along the external wall of the unit and configurations where most of the interior of the unit is "open plan" along with some where most of the interior is broken into various "enclosed" spaces.
Though none of the drawings are annotated or identified in any way (meaning the identity of the artist is "technically" unknown) it does seem reasonable to assume the drawings were by De Martini.
The next group of pages contains a seemingly random collection of items. There are three examples of the same 9" by 4" color tri-fold brochure on three sequential pages. The Charles Cleworth Futuro House Archive
also contains an example of this brochure and photos of the front, back and inside can be found here
In addition to the brochure the first of these pages contains a plan and section of a Futuro House; this actually appears to be a larger example of the same plan and section that can be seen on the back of the tri-fold brochure.
On the next page, in addition to the brochure, we find a newspaper clipping dating from 053069. The publication is not identified but it is almost certainly a Philadelphia newspaper; the article talks about the Futuro making its US debut the following Tuesday at 17th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway and as we know Futuro started out its US journey in Philadelphia.
Finally in this section we have a magazine article. The article, titled "A Lunar Capsule For Earthbound Fun", is from the September 1969 issue of American Home magazine. We have a copy of this magazine in our collection of "Things Futuro
" and more details, along with photos, can be found here
The final "Futuro" pages in the volume contain a series of seven approx. 10" by 8" photographs. There are two black and white photos and five color ones. These photographs are clearly not photographs that were taken by De Martini; some are iconic photographs that have been published multiple times and in multiple media while another is of Hirvensalmi
and it is extremely unlikely that De Martine would have shot all of these photographs.
The two black and white photographs are interior shots of a Futuro; one of the shots (cropped) is used in the brochure referenced above and included in this collection.
The color photographs include color prints of the two black and white photographs seen above, a photograph depicting the often seen "mock up" of multiple Futuros on a rocky mountain slope (the "Sandbox
"), a photograph of Hirvensalmi
(also used in the brochure referenced earlier) and a print of an iconic and often used photograph of the first US Futuro on display at Philadelphia airport under a crescent moon.
The Bank Of New Zealand Collection
In 1974 the Bank Of New Zealand
used one of two Futuros located at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games
which ran from 012474 - 020274 as a branch office. The Futuros were located at the games main venue, Queen Elizabeth II Park
, New Zealand
Back in April 2014 Nick McQuoid (owner of three Futuros, two in Rangiora
currently in the process of restoration and one disassembled and in storage in Invercargill
) received some interesting photos and documents from the Bank Of New Zealand which he posted to Facebook here
(Nick; as always thanks for sharing).
The two photos below show the Futuro used by the Bank Of New Zealand.
Once the games were over the Futuros were put up for sale. The document at left invites tenders for the two Futuros; one Golden Yellow (as seen in the photos) and the other Kentucky Blue.
The document was issued by Futuro Homes (NZ) Limited and not by the Bank Of New Zealand. Purely conjecture but it to us seems very likely that the unit was loaned to, rather than purchased by, the Bank Of New Zealand. Given the high profile event at which they were located (and the short duration of that event) this would surely have been seen as a great marketing opportunity.
The remaining documents include a pricing sheet, a fact sheet and a list of general specifications. Finally there is a marketing brochure which, while having different text and being issued by a different company (the Futuro Corporation Pty. Ltd.), is essentially the same brochure as one that is included in the Brett Colquhoun Archive
Brett Colquhoun recently sent us these two photos.
Brett tells us the photos were taken in the early 70's at Doncaster Shoppingtown (now Westfield Doncaster
) in Doncaster
, a Melboure, Victoria
suburb some 15km or so east of Melbourne's Central Business District
Given the fact the unit was located at a large shopping center (and that there was at least one other portable housing unit on display based on the second photo) this was likely a temporary exhibition or marketing event rather than the location of a Futuro that someone had purchased and located on their property.
That said it is clearly a site at which a Futuro was located even if only for a short time and the subsequent fate of that Futuro is currently unknown so in the strictest sense it fits the bill as a "Lost Soul" and as such we have also added this Futuro to the "Lost Souls
Brett also sent us the photo at left which he tells us was shot by his father in the early 70's while on a trip to the USA.
Our first reaction to this was that it was likely a photo of the first USA manufactured Futuro when it was on display at Philadelphia Airport; not entirely sure why but for some reason that is what it reminded us of. However having looked a little further at photos of Philadelphia Airport (one example can be found here
) we no longer consider this a possibility for several reasons:
- Philadelphia was a dark blue color and while this is a black and white photo the color seems to us to be too light to match.
- The Futuro displayed at Philadelphia Airport was mounted on the European style of support ring while US Futuros generally have the support struts passing through the outer sections and mounted to the internal frame. This photo is small and even blown up it is hard to tell but it looks to us like this has the standard USA support structure.
- We wondered if the road like features in the background of the photograph might be airport taxi-ways. Looking at the blown up version of the photo these almost look like they may be water.
We have amassed several thousand Futuro photographs and we have somewhat aging and ailing memories so currently we cannot identify this Futuro and so it is also being added to the "Unknown Locations
" section of this website. If anyone is able to identify this location please let us know
Original Information 020715
A little while ago Ting-Na Wang pointed us to some interesting photos posted on Instagram by Brett Colquhoun
. We contacted Brett and he was kind enough to share a little information and some additional photographs.
Brett's father was heavily involved with Futuro "back in the day" and Brett tells us that his:
"... father had the Australian license for Futuro And Venturo in the early 70's and then I think sold it to someone in New Zealand.
During the time he was involved with Futuro Brett's father accumulated several interesting photos and other items and it is those that Brett shared. Among the items was this Futuro House Brochure that we do not recall seeing before (though as those of you who visit these pages with any regularity know the memory is a little suspect). The brochure was from a company (or at least a company and location combination) we had not come across before (with the requisite nod to the aforementioned memory); Futuro Corporation Pty. Ltd, Albury
A Google search for the company brought up just a few results one of which was a Sydney Morning Herald
article (at left) from 040972 (accessible on Google here
The article briefly mentions Futuro and it includes a statement to the effect that the Futuro Corporation would be building a house in an Albury suburb.
We have never seen a photograph of a Futuro House located in Albury (and we are not aware of any documentation that proves the house was ever constructed). That said the photo below, included in those that Brett sent us, is of a Futuro House in a location unknown to us and it is at least possible that it shows the one referred to in the article.
Also included among the items Brett sent us was the photo at left of a "Compliments Card" also from the Futuro Corporation Pty. Ltd.
The address is again Albury, NSW though the street address, 520 Swift Street, is different from that in the brochure (the brochure lists 545 Dean Street).
Based on the street address seen on the "Compliments Card" and one of the other Google search results it seems that the Futuro name lives on decades after manufacturing of the Futuro House ended. The search result is a listing for a company at the 520 Swift Street address; that company is Futuro Financial Services
(though oddly the website listed points to a company called DLG Aluminium & Glazing
at a different address in Albury).
Also included in the photos Brett sent were the two below. The exterior photo is clearly a shot of the "Willeton Futuro
" at its original location (that Futuro is now disassembled in a back yard in High Wycombe
). The interior shot though not specifically identified as such, is most likely a shot of the interior of the "Willeton Futuro".
Other photos from Brett include the photo at left of Futuro #001
during its time in Hirvensalmi
; Futuro #001 is now of course fully restored and part of the collection of the WeeGee Exhibition Center
Brett's collection also includes the four photos below. Hirvensalmi was again featured in one of these (the first) and to the right of that is a photo of Futuro #000
during the time it was located in Turenki
These two well-known photos have featured in various mediums including appearing on a pair of postcards
sold as souvenirs by the Museum Of Finnish Architecture
, Finland (though the Hirvensalmi photo is rotated 180° compared to the postcard).
The last two photos show Futuro #002
while located on Lake Lahnajärvi and a Futuro located at the Polykem plant respectively.
The final two photos are an interior shot of a Futuro and a photo showing the sections of a disassembled Futuro; could be a unit disassembled for relocation though we think it is more likely it is a photo taken at the time of manufacture. The location of these two shots is not known. Both of these photos also show Brett's father.
A big thanks to Brett for sharing these items and allowing us to include them here.