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.
During the course of our ongoing research into the Futuro House I have come across a great variety of things that do not quite fit into any of the other pages or sections of this website and these are collected on this page categorized as follows:
We were not sure initially whether we would add this photograph by Frank Schott to this section or to "The Photoshops". No idea whether Photoshop was actually used but regardless of the origin of the photo the Futuro has been added later. We eventually decided to include it here in "The Arts" as an example of "Fine Art Photography" largely based on price.
The photo is available as a 64 x 48" print (signed limited edition of 7) or as a 40 x 30" print (signed limited edition of 25). The prints are priced at $4400 and $1280 respectively. Obviously those of you who frequent these pages know we collect pretty much anything Futuro related but in this case, while we actually do love the photo, the price is a somewhat higher than we can persuade ourselves to go.
Infra Realism Series
There are times when we find the line between "art" and "photography" is a fine one (pun intended) though perhaps there simply is no line! Anyway this photo is from the series "Infra Realism" by Kate Ballis who, on her website's homepage, describes herself as a "Fine Art and Commercial Photographer". We are going to assume this particular series falls in the "Fine Art" side of her work.
This specific photo is of course a shot of the Idyllwild Futuro seen in the blue, red and purple hues characteristic of Ballis' "Infra Realism" series.
We have to confess that we are not particularly "arty" people and when it comes to imagery and art we have always found we do not really understand the idea of having to "interpret" something - modern art or impressionism come to mind - for us an image, be it photo, painting or drawing, ought to actually look like the thing it is supposed to represent; that presumably means we lack imagination but like all of us "we are what we are".
The fact that this exhibition is included here is clearly based on this idea of interpretation but, since this site is about all things Futuro, we felt it had a place here. Dedece Blog tells us that:
"The exhibition opens with an interpretation of the Futuro House, a visionary prefabricated dwelling unit designed by Matti Suuronen in 1968."
This remark is immediately followed by the first of the two photos below. There is no caption so we are not certain but the implication is that this photo illustrates this "interpretation" of a Futuro. we do not see it; perhaps you do. The second photo is the graphic that heads the article on Dedece Blog; not actually sure who created it but it is not credited to anyone else so we are assuming the authors of the article - it is a rather cool Futuro related graphic.
Midnight Modern Series IV
Photographer Tom Blachford's ongoing photographic series "Midnight Modern" is described as being "an ongoing series and exploration into the interplay between Architecture, Moonlight, Mountains and the tension of an unspoken narrative". We do not pretend to "get" art and we have no clue how to interpret the phrase "tension of an unspoken narrative" in the context of the photos but we will say this - the photo of the Idyllwild Futuro shown below, one of those in Series IV of "Midnight Modern" is absolutely one of our favorite all time Futuro photos.
At the time of writing through 030318 "Midnight Modern Series IV" is on display in Sydney, Australia at the Michael Reid gallery. The Futuro photo is available for purchase at $3500 unframed and $4700 framed, a little "rich for our blood" despite the fact that we do love the photo.
"... an immersive experience on a grand stage in which art is consumed through all of the senses. The project will run over a number of installments. Chapter Three will take place in early 2016. The experience will unite the senses through food, scent, drink, movement, sound, and environment."
and then goes on to tell us that:
"Chapter Three/FUTURO is inspired by the round, prefabricated flying saucer-shaped house "Futuro" designed by Matti Suuronen in the late 1960s. This house and many other ideas from that time dreamed a vision of a utopian society that is lost to us now - replaced by a gloomier, dystopian image of the future. Waldorf Project will bring back these incredible ideas, creating a distilled interpretation of these concepts in a minimal yet radical performance .. all disciplines will be engaged and synchronized: from the visionary set and product design through gastronomy to light and sound. Everything will be thought through and interwoven to give the guests a complete emotional journey to the future."
The project website uses images of the Futuro as backdrops to its pages including Royse City, Dombai and Turenki but beyond that we have not been able to figure out how Futuro actually figures into the project. The website Brummell informs us that:
"The project creates large-scale installations that aim to stimulate all five senses - through performance art, music and a dining experience - while exploring a theme ... as nine leading names in gastronomy, visual art, design, theatre, electronic music, choreography and mixology come together for one event."
Perhaps some of you can figure out how Futuro fits in; unfortunately we cannot but, since Futuro is mentioned, The Waldorf Project earns its place on these pages.
These photos are from a fashion shoot titled "Tentacle Salon"; which incidentally, much like the fashion itself, we do not understand. That said they are unusual photos that feature a Futuro, in this case Craig Barnes' "Futuro 22", and so they get a place on this page. The photographer for the shoot was Chen Chen, the stylist was Qin Peng and the designer was Chen Peng.
Nemo Niemann is an accomplished and successful professional American photographer. The photo below, titled "Future Shock - The Saucer", won a nomination in the "6th Annual Black & White Spider Awards". The photo is of the Milton, DE Futuro; the final image is of course photoshopped but only for lighting and the removal of unwanted elements. We happen to love black and white photography and this superb shot by Nemo is no exception.
A full color version of this same shot can be found on Nemo's website here; there is a also second shot that features the Futuro here.
The Fashion Statement
There is one thing that is certain about opinions; there are as many opinions as there are people. Where one sees treasure another sees junk, where one sees something as interesting another sees the same thing as boring. We have never been much for advertising; we have a jobs where sales people contact us and to be honest we do not particularly like sales people, if you try to sell to us we will likely not buy your product even if we need it. Advertisers, in our opinion have some strange ideas about what might encourage people to buy their product.
For example; in Summer 2010 fashion house Diesel came up with what, to us at least, was a somewhat bizarre advertising concept; suggest that people "be stupid". To be honest we would have thought that counter productive - tell my target market to "be stupid" - does that not imply that we "are stupid"? If we were not already stupid how could we now "be stupid"?
Anyway we digress; what is interesting here is that one of the images used in the advertising program featured a Futuro House. It is unclear which Futuro is used, why there is smoke emanating from it or what the native American has to do with it but it does feature the Futuro and so it has a place here.
Check out the images below and see what you think; would that encourage you to buy Diesel? The second image is taken from Diesel's "Be Stupid" catalogue, a pdf file that can be downloaded here.
We came across this video on YouTube recently which depicts a Futuro constructed for the game Minecraft. Not entirely sure we would have recognized this as a Futuro were it not identified as such but perhaps within the confines of what can be done in this particular game this is as accurate a representation as you can get. The Futuro is seen about 1:20 into the video.
Sim City 4
On the website Simtropolis, a fan site for the game Sim City 4 we find the Futuro House used as the basis for a game mod.
ancientsociety has created a mod for the game Sim City 4 that adds the Futuro House as one of the buildings available to the player when constucting their virtual city.
Another option for gamers wanting to add the Futuro House to their gaming experience has been added to the website Simtropolis by jimbobbedyjobob.
"... writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place."
so strictly speaking this 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 af art that features a Futuro.
With the 2016 holiday season just around the corner it seemed like an appropriate time to add this Gingerbread House that was posted to Instagram (actually last Christmas) by chrnerland.
The cake is very clearly reminiscent of Futuro and the Instagram post does include the hashtag futurohouse but it also pays homage to the sci-fi movie genre as it carries the iconic quote "Klaatu Barada Nikto!" (that will, we are sure, be immediately recognizable to those with an interest in that genre) from the classic 1951 movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still".
So this is clearly not a Futuro but this lamp is rather cool in a kind of "retro" way and it absolutely put us in mind of Futuro when we saw it. The video was posted to Instagram by cometgone.
The Light Painting
We came across this interesting video (and stills) on the Facebook page Lichtbahner. Not sure how the technology works but "light painting" certainly produces some cool effects. The video was shot at the Munich Futuro.
The Futuro House inspired several very simlar projects over the years and one of them was the Tony Gilbert designed Aqaushel which could be described as a floating Futuro "look alike".
The February 1984 issue of Popular Science included a short article on the Aquashel. The image below accompanied the article and is reporduced from our copy of the magazine.
The article does not indicate whether Gilbert was inspired by the Futuro but it seems, based on the evidence, that we can assume that "beyond a reasonable doubt" (to use a term nore normally associated with the legal system).
The article tells us that Aquashel, much like Futuro, was designed for ease of production and transport, on site assembly and that it was constructed from 20 (unlike Futuro's 16) segments. Once you take that information and then take a look at a photo, for us at least, the Futuro influence is evident.
There does not seem to be a whole lot of information out there on Aquashel though we have found a couple of references; an archived Wirral Globe article from 022106 and a forum discussion on Wirral History.
Aquashell cost between £40,000 and £60,000 so it was more costly than Futuro (though some 10 or so years later) and was designed to be located on water and not on land. The very cool photograph below by nancyo21 was taken in 1985.
A few days ago we came across these two photos posted to Instagram by mustudio1969. The structure is, to us at least, reminiscent of the Futuro. The original photos can be found here and here.
The structure is described as "Casa Mara, Venezuela, 1970". We have not had the time to do any research and know nothing about it; if anyone happens to know anything about this structure please let us know.
Chalet Rajah Saab
This interesting structure was seen on a postcard that was listed for sale on E-Bay as of the time of writing (050116). The item was listed with the following description:
"Futuro House? Chalet Rajah Saab Beiruit Lebanon. By Architect F. Dagher 1952"
While this is clearly in no way a Futuro House it reminds us (a little) of one; a more "angular" cousin if you like!
A recent email we received suggested there was a Futuro in Coober Pedy, Australia. A little research revealed the "concrete UFO" structure seen in this screen grab from Google Earth. A post on the website Vice.com tells us that the structure was built in the 1970's and served as a waiting room for an underground brothel below and adds that:
"This was back in the days when guys outnumbered girls 400 to one. It's more like 40 to one now so we figured they still might want to keep it open but if there are still working ladies in town, they're not working here."
The Curling Stone
Recently we received an email from Donald McHugh in which he referenced a Futuro like structure previously located in Moncton, New Brunswick. VintageMoncton.com tells us that the structure was located in Moncton in the 70's and 80's and that it is believed it was constructed by Earl Davison, who also created the PEI UFO; the similarity is evident.
The "Curling Stone" started out as a pizza restaurant, served as the headquarters for the 1980 Air Canada Silver Broom Men's World Curling Championship held in Moncton and then as a video store and sub shop before being put up for sale and eventually disappearing. Its current whereabouts are unknown.
The photos below are courtesy of VintageMoncton.com with the second being credited to Doreen Johnson.
The two photos below appeared in posts by Ten Tseng on the Futuro House Facebook Page. It seems Ten built the structure himself and calls it "The Faturo". Though clearly reminiscent of a Futuro this structure appears to be smaller and it has circular windows. The original Facebook posts can be found here and here.
Homer's Dream House
Though we are not Simpson's fans we know it has a huge following and, apparently, it's own "sim" style mobile game "The Simpsons: Tapped Out" within which users can create and maintain their own version of Springfield.
The image below, from the Tapped Out Wiki, depicts "Homer's Dream House" and, to us at least, it does have some resemblance to Futuro and so while "virtual" it still qualifies as a Futuro "Look Alike".
Joan Bennàssar Replica
Prominent Mallorca artist Joan Bennàssar is responsible for this interesting "replica" of a Futuro House. Created at the Centre d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona in the grounds of an old textile factory the replica appears to be constructed of some sort of fabric. More information can be found here (Spanish | English version by Google Translate here).
We purchased this postcard recently without having seen a photo of it; the description suggested a Futuro but in fact it was a multi-view postcard from Rainbow Valley Amusement Park, Cavendish, PEI that included a photograph of a structure that was similar to a Futuro but clearly not a Futuro.
The structure can be seen far more clearly in the photograph below, by Matthew Jelley, from futurohouse.com where Len provides an in depth look at the interesting history of the PEI UFO along with many photographs, postcards and other items - check it out here.
Sochi Gas Stations
These two photos were included in an Album of Futuro photos posted on Facebook by Kirill Grekov. They are of course clearly not Futuros but they do get a place here as "look alikes".
The comment accompanying the photos, as translated by Facebook, reads:
"Futuristic filling stations in the city of Sochi and its suburbs were built in anticipation of the Olympic Games 80"
We are not sure what the "80" refers to. We initially thought it must refer to the year but quickly concluded that is obviously wrong as the Sochi Winter Olympics were held much more recently in 2014 and back in 1980 the Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid so we are assuming that these structures are relatively recent.
The photos below show a development in Rizhao City in the Shandong Province of China that includes several structures that are somewhat similar in shape to the Futuro. The photos are from an 020113 article on the website gb.cri.cn which indicates construction on the site took place 2009/2010.
Russian Look Alike
Yves recently sent us this photo of a "look alike" located in Naro-Fominsk, Russia. It reminds us very much of the The PEI UFO.
This clipping from a Dutch newspaper features a photo by Tim Dirven taken during a visit to Armenia in 2004. Though similar in shape to the Futuro the structure appears to be much smaller and while it is hard to tell from only the photo it looks to us as if it is fabricated from metal. The photo can also be see on Dirven's website (click "Navigate" and then select Europe followed by Armenia) with the caption:
"Armenia. August 2004. An UFO type bar on top of the Spitak pass. Drivers can take a rest after a steep climbing on the sloped of mount Aragats."
UFO Airbnb "Futuro Styled Flying Saucer"
This structure is located in Redberth, UK. That it is modeled after Futuro is evident from the photos and, in the Airbnb listing for the property, it is actually described as a "UFO Futuro Styled Flying Saucer". The property rents for £119 a night (about $149) at the time of writing.
Back in 2012 the website wowhaus.co.uk published an article on an Italian property that was for sale. The property was Villa Benedetti, a 1970's six-bedroom house located in Ascoli Piceno, in the Marche region of southern Italy.
One of the unique features of the house can be found by following a corridor and climbing a spiral staircase after which you find yourself in a flying saucer-shaped psychedelic disco room. Externally the structure clearly fits the description "Futuro Look Alike"; the interior is also reminiscent of Futuro though the decor looks to us like extended exposure would result in a headache but perhaps we are just too old to appreciate it.
Wyder AG Office Building
While this office building on the campus of Wyder AG in Sins, Switzerland does not actually "look like" a Futuro, it is considerably larger and a different shape, it very definitely "reminds" us of a Futuro. It is raised from the ground on angled supports, it has a stepped entry way and the shape while not circular is also not angular. It is interesting to see that the "framework" for the structure is wooden.
The E-Bay listing has been ended. Given that E-Bay shows the listing as "ended" rather than reporting the item as "sold" the house was not sold on E-Bay but of course the listing may have been ended early because the house was sold through other channels.
DISCLAIMER: TheFuturoHouse.com is not the owner or seller of this item and is not affiliated with the sale in any way. This is a "big ticket" item so please due your due diligence if you are interested.
From time to time we get emails about possible Futuros and such was the case recently when we received an email from Giannis Sarris regarding a possible Futuro in Athens. Being Greece the Nikolaos Xasteros House came to mind and indeed when Giannis sent me some photos that turned out to be the case.
We do not often "revisit" look alikes but in this case one of the photos highlighted some of the similarities between the Xasteros structure and the Futuro to such an extent that we thought it was worth adding here.
The images below (Xasteros top and Futuro bottom) clearly show how both structures were manufactured in sections and how those sections had inward facing "flanges" to facilitate their assembly into a single structure. Both also show a radial structure upon which the floor could be mounted. Obviously there are also significant structural and design differences between the two; the windows were different and in the case of Xasteros the lower section appears to have been manufactured as a single section whereas with Futuro the segments run fully top to bottom. In addition the horizontal join between upper and lower sections is lower in the Xasteros house.
Overall while there are clearly significant and numerous differences the similarities in underlying concept are such that we wonder whether the designs originated entirely separately or whether one was prompted in some part by the other. The Xasteros structure was patented in 1969 not too long after Futuro.
Our thanks to Giannis Sarris for sharing his photo.
Original Information 010513
Recently we received an email reporting a Futuro on the coast around Athens, Greece. The email contained a link to the photo below taken by Marios Moros 092009.
Of course we had, at the time or writing, never come across any references to a Futuro in Greece so this was exciting - for about 30 seconds! At a first and brief glance the image does show something that appears Futuro like but after the initial excitement it becomes very clear that this is not a Futuro. This is actually a photo of a prefabricated building designed by one Nikolaos Xasteros and what is really interesting is that there are many similarities between this and the Futuro both in the actual design as well as in "the story". You can read more about this "non Futuro" here.
The Movie Trailer
Kinotar, who hold the rights to the excellent Mika Taanila directed 1998 documentary film Futuro: A New Stance for Tomorrow, recently uploaded this trailer for the film to YouTube. Though the film has been around for some time it is still screened several times a year at various international film festivals and other events.
For those who might like to own a copy of the film it can be obtained on the compilation DVD Aika & Aine (Time & Matter) or by purchasing a copy of the book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday edited by Marko Home and Mika Taanila. The book can be very expensive but it is a must have for any "rabid" Futuro fan and comes along with a DVD that includes the film along with several fascinating extras.
A small number of Futuros were manufactured in the UK by Todmorden company Waterside Plastics. Though none of them can currently be accounted for they are known to have been located in Burnley, Todmorden and Wrightington.
Recently artist Cat Byrne was commissioned to paint a mural at the Todmorden Public Library. Cat included the Todmorden Futuro in her work. The shots below are from Cat's blog; the originals and more photos of her work can be found here.
J.W. Walls offers this mural/wallpaper featuring the Futuro House that can be printed to match the exact dimensions of your wall (with a suggested maximum width of 3230 mm). The cost is $185 and up.
The image below illustrates how the mural might look.
Gustav Bolin was a well known painter of Swedish/Russian descent who spent most of his working life split between Paris and Antibes in France. This painting, titled "Personnages devant la mer, 1969" or, according to Google Translate "Characters before the sea, 1969" was sold at auction 121918 (artnet.com).
It is now in the possession of Galerie PF Garcia and again on the market; the gallery posted this photo to Instagram 122518. It is described as "Noël à la plage avec Gustav Bolin, 'terrasse en bord de mer' antibes 1969" or "Christmas at the beach with Gustav Bolin, 'seaside terrace' antibes 1969". We have never come across mention of a Futuro in Antibes (which does not mean there was not one there) and would love to hear from you if you know anything about this Futuro. We can be contacted directly by email or through our Contact Form
It would make an awesome addition to our collection of "Things Futuro" but the artist is well known and its a little rich for our budget. If you are interested contact Galerie PF Garcia.
This rather nice painting by Jimmy Carender can be purchased in a wide variety of mediums and formats via FineArtAmerica here.
Untitled - etherealgeometry
This painting is a work in progress by etherealgeometry that was posted to Instgram 032419. Looking forward to seeing the finished work at some point.
Paysage Nocturne ... - Alain Fraboni
A work entitled "Paysage nocturne avec mer de nuage et maison Futuro, 2008" was painted in 2008 by Alain Fraboni. Google translates the title to "Night landscape with sea and cloud Futuro house, 2008". The painting can be found on Alain's website here.
We came across this photo of a nice looking framed painting of Frisco by Manda Holden on Instagram the other day. Manda's original Instagram posting can be found here.
Futuro House - HollyJ26
This nice piece of work by HollyJ26 appeared on the website wetcanvas.com 032716. The painting, in acrylics, depicts one half of the pair of Futuros located in Carlisle, Ohio.
Futuro Landscape - Lindsay Hurley
This painting by Lindsay Hurley is described by the artist as a "futuro landscape inspired by futuro houses". The original image can be found on Instagram here.
Untitled - Javi Kuo
Taiwanese watercolorist Javi Kuo recently posted these images of a piece he painted at Wanli to Instagram; the originals can be found on Instagram here and here.
Untitled - Pepita
We came across this painting in acrylic on this webpage. As it often does Google struggled to translate a page in Finnish but as far as I can tell it is a blog titled VariPala written by someone who goes by the name Pepito; that of course could be completely wrong!
Finding this painting was somewhat fortuitous as the page actually turned up in the result set as we were searching for a copy of the book Pikkuväen Askartelukirja for our collection of "Things Futuro".
Futuro - Katrin Plavcak
In 2005 German artist Katrin Plavcak painted a Futuro; the painting is shown below and you can find it on Katrin's website here. Given the painter's nationality, the location by water and among trees and the appearence of the antenna on top of the Futuro it seems almost certain that the inspiration for this painting was the Berlin Futuro.
Futuro House, TX - Maria Rodilla
We came across this piece of art by Maria Rodilla on Tumblr. The piece is annotated "Texas" so the inspiration must be the Royse City Futuro based on the color and general appearance.
Futuro 2012 - Jan Ros
This 2012 painting by Jan Ros is a depiction of the Dombai Futuro and is one of our favorite pieces of Futuro art.
Multiple Works - Donald Short
We came across another nice Futuro work by Donald Short the other day. "Space Age Daydream" (oil on canvas) can be purchased for $2,900 on the website saatchiart.
Donald Short is an artist who lives in the university town of Oxford, England with an interest in architectural forms; you can check out Donald's work on his website.
In 2009 Short painted a work he titled simply "Futuro". The work is clearly inspired by this photo of the Dombai Futuro.
Futuro II - Richard Stride
Over the course of Christmas Eve into Christmas Day 1974 the city of Darwin, Australia was devastated by Cyclone Tracy. Wikipedia tells us that:
"Tracy killed 71 people, caused $837 million in damage (1974 AUD) and destroyed more than 70 percent of Darwin's buildings"
The destruction of a Futuro House located in the Larrakeyah area was included in those terrible loses.
In an art piece titled "Futuro II (should we try again Tracy?)" Brisbane based visual artist Richard Stride:
"... questions the resurrection of the Futuro House in Darwin and its potential through the lens of architectural representations."
"Modern Problems" by suzannemeowmeowfalk is a miniature (2" by 2") oil painting depicting a Futuro and a cat. Not sure how the title relates to the image or why a cat would be so much bigger than a Futuro but it is art depicting a Futuro and so earns its place on this page.
"Unidentified Blues", a second miniature (2" by 2") oil painting by the same artist depicts a Futuro on an "alien planet" (our description).
Surrealistic Futuro - Barney Vincelette
Barney Vincelette, long time owner and resident of the Houston Futuro, has made many varied contributions to these pages. This week he kindly shared with us (and you) this painting. In his own words Barney tells me that this is a:
"painting I did for a front cover of some history that I will pass to my next of kin. It is a surrealistic painting that has a Futuro house and a flying wing approaching an island in the sky to land where the Futuro is."
Barney - you are clearly a man of many talents; thanks for sharing.
Modular - Kain White
This painting is by Kain White; it can be found on his website here.
The website Koussinus.fr appears to be both a Gallery and Storefront for Koussinus, a "Créateur d'objets textiles" or "Creator Of Textile Objects". Though the "Boutique" section of the site states that it is not an ecommerce site it is nevertheless offering items for sale.
What has this to do with the "Futuro Fan"? Well, one of the sections of the site displays pillows embroidered with Futuros; round pillows as shown at left and also regular rectangular pillows; check them out here. The Futuro products page is headed with this "Clin d'œil aux années 60 et à la maison "Futuro" réalisée par l'architecte Matti Suuronen" which I think translates to a "Nod to the 60s and the "Futuro" home designed by architect Matti Suuronen."
Odd coincidences happen from time to time. One such was our coming across this "Futuro House Pumpkin" on Instagram just a few days before Halloween 2016. It was posted to Instagram by pappastan in 2014.
The Futuro sometimes "pops up" in some unlikely places and for us this is one of those times. We came across this on Instagram recently; a Futuro featuring on a quilt (looks like a work in progress) posted to Instagram by Claire Wiseman aka westcoastcinnamongirl.
Justin Adams describes himself as "Automotive designer who also works with marine and aerospace projects". He has recently been working on a Futuro House CAD project and has placed his work on GrabCAD. Justin also kindly agreed to let us share his work here. Below are examples of this work; it is impressive how realistic these images appear. You can also access Justin's 3-D Model here (note this requires IE11 or Chrome; not too sure about other browsers). Thanks for sharing your work Justin.
This nice set of renderings is the work of Mitch Bailey. More information and the original renderings can be found on artstation.com.
An 031416 article on the website graphisoft.no provided a little background on the work Ole Grødem did in ArchiCAD that led to the BIMxPro 3D model referenced below. That article included the rather cool rendered images from ArchiCAD shown below.
Original Information 050915
Ole Grødem recently added a rather cool project entitled "Futuro Recreation" to the website bimx.graphisoft.com which is a 3D rendering of a Futuro House that is navigable and includes not only the exterior but also the interior of the model. The two screenshots below are captured from the model. To run this requires the download of both a viewer and the Futuro model file itself. Both can be downloaded here.
The two images below, by Bernard Huguet, can be found on the website artstation.com; they depict a renedered Futuro in a "real" environment. Interesting coinicidence; one of them depicts a building signed "Bombardier, the Canadian based aerospace company that constructed the molds for the Canadian Futuros (though it appears the building is in Sweden, at least I believe so based on the signs in the photo).
We came across the image below the other day on the website Render3d-Italia. We cannot seem to find any information or background on the image (not even who created it) but we thought it had a place here simply because it is a very cool image that features not one but two Futuros.
Other Suuronen Designs
Along with the Futuro Matti Suuronen also designed several other buildings using similar materials. Like Futuro they never reached the "mass-market" status to which they aspired but as with the Futuro there are also examples still around today. On 070814 during our July 2014 visit to Helsinki, Finland we were able to visit an example of each of them ably guided by Marko Home, Futuro Historian and co-editor of the book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday. Thank you for acting as our personal "tour guide" Marko!
As you all know we are a little obsessed with Futuro and we have always resisted the temptation to dive into other buildings and concepts with the same vigor; we simply do not have the time. It was however very interesting to see other examples of Suuronen's other creations. That there are examples of each of them still around and in use almost 50 years ago is clearly a validation of the longevity of Suuronen's basic design principles.
The photos below illustrate in use examples of Futuro's "siblings", the Casa Finlandia CF-10, CF-45 and CF-100, around the Helsinki area as they appeared 070814. The numeric part of the designations indicates the floor area of the respective units.
The 10 square meter CF-10 Kiosk was the smallest of Suuronen's designs. Here we see a unit still operating in exactly that manner as a roadside diner/burger bar. Not only is it still operating but based on our visit it is operating quite successfully; during our visit it seemed to have a steady stream of customers.
Keraplast manufactures similar products to those once manufactured by Polykem and has sometimes fabricated replacements for Polykem manufactured products. As an example Polykem manufactured the original plastic bubble windows for the roof of the Tapiola swimming hall which was opened in 1965. During a 2008 renovation Keraplast manufactured new "replica" bubble windows to replace the Polykem originals.
The opening of the renovated Futuro was attended by Matti Suuronen's widow and other family members. We think they would have been proud; the quality of the renovation appears to be excellent and showcases Matti Suuronen's vision some 50 years or so after his designs were first turned into reality.
Original Notes 072714
Known as the "Venturo" (see brochure here) the CF-45 is perhaps, after Futuro, the best known of Suuronen's designs and there are many examples still around today. Primarily designed as a modular housing unit the "Venturo", like Futuro, can still be found at multiple sites around the world; perhaps most notably there are multiple examples at the Wanli site in Taiwan.
The photos below, shot 070814, show a suburban Helsinki location where three Venturos are "inter-linked" and form part of the owner's home.
CF-100 Service Station
The CF-100 at 100 square meters was the largest of Suuronen's designs and with its "modular" design multiple units could easily be assembled together to create larger floor area structures. In this case, a Service Station in suburban Helsinki, there are two units together creating a single structure still being used as a service station after almost 50 years.
In 1971 Finland issued a stamp to commemorate the plastics industry; the stamp featured the Futuro House (Scott # 0190-0511). The stamp was issued 102071.
Shown below is our collection of these stamps at the time of writing (a description of each type of example can be found here). There are at least two other different First Day Covers that we know of; if you have a First Day Cover different to the one shown or know of one for sale please let us know.
The Television Set
The Berlin Futuro served as a set in a German children's TV series, Terra Max (German | Google Translate to English here). It was used as a backdrop for outdoor scenes and the interior was staged as a kind of "mad scientist's laboratory". For more information see the Berlin Futuro page.
The image below shows the Futuro as it appeared in the TV Series.
You know you are getting older when you look at something, don't really understand it, and conclude it is something definitely "for kids". We have absolutely no idea what this website is all about or what anyone would be doing on it other than folks like us wondering what someone would be doing on such a website.
On the site Curtis Amusements tells us that "First and foremost, it's about having fun. It's also about publicity, and if you're reading this, it's working. Curtis Amusements creates and develops entertainment content, and unlike some other outfits that claim they do too, we'll actually try to entertain you while you visit our website (not just throw a bit of sliding text and a blaring tune in your face and leave it at that).
Whatever it is all about the designers of the site chose to use the Futuro as the basis for some of their graphical imagery as shown in the two screen captures below.
The Anniversary Installation
Sydney artist and arts worker Daniel Soma created a Futuro related art installation for The Finnish Crazy Games [092317-092417] at the Embassy of Finland to Australia as part of the celebration of the centenary of Finnish independence.
The installation reprises Daniel's 2016 case study and exhibition, FUTURO!, that took place at the Interlude Gallery, Sydney, Australia between 041416 and 042316.
The first two photos below are impressions of the 2017 installation. The following three photos are from the 2016 event.
On 012316 the exhibition was opened with a talk about Futuro given by Wilp's widow Frau Ingried Wilp. As a part of the opening ceremonies a Futuro Cake was created which can be seen in the photo and videos below.
It is possible the talk may have included some interesting history of Wilp's Futuro but since the language is German we cannot follow along. If you happen to speak German and you watch these videos we would love to hear about anything new or interesting in Frau Wilp's talk. We can be contacted directly by email or by using our Contact Form.
Jo Vargas Interactive Design & Publishing publishes a cool Children's Coloring Book called Sweet Homes. The book contains some 40 architectural images for kid's to color and among them is the Futuro House as seen bottom left in the sample shot from Jo Vargas' website..
Unknown Children's Craft Book
On pages 92 and 93 of an old (Finnish?) children's craft book we find the Futuro House in the role of subject for a children's craft project.
The image of the book below is by edda-ruska and was taken 081606.
If anyone happens to know the name of this book or even where we might possibly obtain a copy please let us know.
The Class Project
Came across an interesting collection of Futuro drawings recently. They appear the result of some kind of school project perhaps involving learning about the Futuro and then producing artistic interpretations of the Futuro. The shot below is a sample of the work but there are many more; check it out here.
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 his photos of Wanli. The resulting image is certainly surreal and though it is entirely different for some reason it kind of reminds us of Salvador Dali's work. Our thanks to Alexander for again sharing his work.
We came across this rather excellent drawing of Idyllwild on Instagram the other day. The drawing is by Danny Heller and is, we think, the precursor to an oil on canvas work (at least based on the description attached to the Instagram photo which includes "coming soon" and the fact that oil on canvas appears to be Danny's main medium).
We recently came across this drawing by ellenfive on Instagram. The drawing was inspired by a visit to "Futuro 22" in London. Not sure who the "furry friends" are.
emanuelletomato - Hen House & Dralloween
This whimsical piece is by emanuelletomato; the original can be found on Tumblr. Art is very subjective and the old and over used cliche "art is in the eye of the beholder" is, in our opinion, very accurate (and there goes us contributing to it's over use); no idea what anyone else will think of the piece but we rather like it.
This second, equally whimsical drawing titled Dralloween, also by emanuelletomato posted on the web in October 2015 also features the Futuro House.
Erin Elder - Futuro Home
This whimsical little drawing by Erin Elder can be found on Instagram here and is one of the images in her 2019 Calendar which can be purchased here.
harriet_quilty_artstuff - Futuro
To be frank we are not sure we quite "get" this drawing but that said it is a drawing of a Futuro and so its inclusion here seems appropriate. The drawing is by harriet_quilty_artstuff and is accompanied by this description/explanation:
"The Futuro is looking good - Futuro house shaped like a ufo and manufactured in the later sixties in Todmorden. Lots of ufo sightings here too, involving cows!"
"to indulge (her) love of art and to feature artists creating unusual and beautiful artwork."
Polish architect and professional artist Klara Ostaniewicz
"is interested in architecture from the past twenty years and the way the design highlights interior and exterior spaces. She uses pencil to celebrate architectural structures through beautifully crafted drawings."
We came across this drawing on Nanainen's blog. We have observed many times that while Google Translate does an effective job with some languages Finnish to English is not one of them and it is not easy for us to understand the story that accompanies the drawing.
As best we can tell it relates to the possibility (if indeed there is even a possibility) of time travel. Nanainen observes though that many things we take for granted now were once as unthinkable as time travel is now. Nanainen goes on to talk of the "crazy dream" of further development of the Futuro; perhaps into "time travel"; here we are not sure and it is where we run into translation issues. If anyone can correct us on the story we would love to hear from you.
This amusing drawing popped up in an Instagram search the other day. By Rebecca Eilering and titled (by us not the artist) "Chicken" this is actually a digital drawing with the hardware rather colorfully being described in one of the comments as "an electronic Etch A Sketch".
Rex Parker - Livinston Futuro
This awesome piece featuring the Livingston Futuro is by talented artist Rex Parker. We enjoyed it so much We had to own it; a 13" x 19" print is now a part of our collection of "Things Futuro". You can get your own copy by visiting Rex's online store here.
Stephen Ulman - Pensacola Beach Futuro
Stephen Ulman recently graduated Washington State University with a master's in landscape architecture; our congratulations. The image below is of a 2009 drawing Stephen (along with Ryan Anderson according to the drawing's tag line) did of the Pensacola Beach Futuro.
On his blog Stephen says "I drew this from a photo and added my own improvements to the property." Looks pretty good to us; if we ever manage to buy my own Futuro you might just have a job Stephen!
strifeofbrian - Futuro & 63 Avanti
Artist strifeofbrian describes this drawing as depicting a "Futuro vacation home and (a) "63 Avanti". The original can be found on Instagram here.
This rather nice minimalist drawing of a Futuro was posted to Instagram 091918 by thank_ray.
Google's search algorithms are interesting to say the least; even though we run a series of queries every day to try to find out what is "new" in the "Futuro world" every now and again one of those queries throws up a result for something that was actually posted to the web a long time ago but that had not appeared for that query before. In this case the photo below originally posted to Facebook back in 2016 by Gerrie Vernon showed up in a set of query results for us for the first time on 062119.
Of course the photo is not of a Futuro but rather an ornately decorated Merry-Go-round located at Morey's Pier in Wildwood, NJ.; the photo dates from 1974. Also located at Morey's Pier at that time was a Futuro, the Futuro served as a part of one of the rides; initially the Planet Of The Apes ride and later Star Trek, Star Wars, and finally The Empire Strikes Back. The unit subsequently served as a tourist information office in Seaside Heights, NJ and was, to the best of our knowledge later demolished.
The decoration on the Merry-Go-Round includes scenes from around the park and one of those scenes depicts the Futuro which was serving, at that time, as a part of the Planet Of The Apes ride. More information about this Futuro can be found here.
These great photos of Daniel Soma's Futuro model were recently posted to Instagram by amcsviatko; we particularly like the photo of the interior.
This rather nice model has appeared in at least two installations by Sydney artist and arts worker Daniel Soma. Its most recent appearance was as part of an installation at the The Finnish Crazy Games (092317-092417) at the Embassy of Finland to Australia as part of a celebration of the centenary of Finnish independence. My thanks to Laura Tchilinguirian for the photo.
The Autodesk 123D Model
Angela Toma recently sent me the photos below which are of a rather cool Futuro model she created using Autodesk 123D. Thanks for sharing them Angela.
The Canadian Architectural Model
On 120504 Chicago based auction house Wright held an auction titled "Modernist 20th Century"; Lot 369 of the auction featured an architectural model of the Futuro House and an extensive archive with original tear sheets, photographs, floor plans, articles and a book about the Futuro project. These two photographs of the model are from the auction catalog.
The model was constructed according to the Canadian floor plan of the Futuro House and the additional materials were from Futuro Fiberglass Homes Ltd, the Canadian licensee of the Futuro House. Pre-auction estimates for Lot 369 were $3,000 to $4,000; the realized price was $7,800.
Richard Pisani, owner of the Danvers Futuro and creator of the website Futuro-House.net, includes some personal recollections of his experience with this auction on his website here. Richard was planning to bid on the auction with a budget of $3,200 (which, with a 20% buyer's premium and Chicago Sales Tax of 8.75%, actually equated to $4120) and on auction day he was on the phone with a representative of the auction house ready to bid. Unfortunately the opening bid came in at $4,500 and Richard was effectively out of the running before he was even able to place a bid.
Prior to the auction Richard had visited Chicago and taken a large number of photographs of the items comprising Lot 369 which he added to his website. Unfortunately the link to the "photo album" no longer functions (and while the Photo Gallery pages can be accessed in the Internet Archive Wayback machine here the images themselves cannot). If anyone happened to archive these photos we would love to see them; let us know if you can help.
More information on the Canadian Futuro House can be found on Len's website FuturoHouse.com in pdf format here.
The Christmas Model
Damien David posted the photo below to Facebook along with the comment:
"Look what my friend made me for Christmas!"
The model (kinda cool in our opinion) is made from "Sculpey" which Damien describes as a kind of bake at home modeling clay.
The Concept Model
The photo below shows a very cool "concept" Futuro model that is rather reminiscent of the Futuro II-X. Both have the two "halves" of a Futuro separated and an additional section added between the two halves.
The model is from Matti Suuronen's archive and is photographed on display at KAMU, Espoo City Museum (which is located in the WeeGee Exhibition Center along with EMMA, Espoo Museum Of Modern Art which of course hosts Futuro #001 and the "Futuro World" Exhibition). The archive was donated to KAMU by Matti Suuronen's Estate earlier this year (our thanks to Marko Home for the background information).
The Cut-Away Model
We came across this photo on Flickr; it was posted by Jan Jacob Trip. The photo is of a rather interesting "cut-away" model of a Futuro which features parts of the exterior and interior but also shows the underfloor construction.
"... a chance for the Danish to make a Lego set for their friendly neighbour."
Not too sure that Lego would be the first thing that came to mind for most people when thinking about such an auspicious anniversary but each to their own. The suggested Lego set comprises five "landmark" buildings one of which was the Futuro House. The model is perhaps not the most "exact" model of a Futuro ever but Lego has its limitations and the model can clearly be seen to resemble the Futuro.
The "Printed" Model
In a tweet that we missed way back on 032815 Aalto Fablab posted the photo below. The tweet read as follows:
"we're at @emmamuseum this weekend making parts for our futuro model with our @makerbot and @formlabs 3d printers YAY!"
We have not come across any photos of the completed model yet; the capabilities of 3D printers seem to be advancing rapidly and it would be interesting to see the final product.
The "Printed" Model 2
Len Reitlep posted photos of this 3-D printed Futuro model to Facebook in July 2016. Ulitmately we purchased this and another similar model for our collection (they can be found here). The models are incomplete and will take some work to get then completed. One day there will be the time to do that.
The "Printed" Model 3
Stephen Ward completed his Futuro models which were then displayed at model makers exhibition/recruitment fair "New Blades 2018" where he won the Asylum Creative Award; congratulations Stephen - well deserved. Stephen can be seen in the photo below from his Instagram feed. The other two photos, from the New Blades 2018 Gallery on Flickr, are close ups of the models as displayed at the exhibition.
Another couple of photos of Stephen Ward's Futuro modeling project from his Instagram feed; they provide a clear look at the incredible level of detail that Stephen built into his models.
Stephen Ward's Futuro modeling project seems to be nearing completion as these most recent photos from his Instagram feed show; two awesome models by the look of things.
It is interesting to follow the progress of Stephen Ward's Futuro modeling project via his Instagram feed; these are the latest photos he has added.
stephen.j.ward added these additional photos to Instagram recently showing his progress as he continues work on his Futuro model.
Original Information 012018
I came across this little snippet of video along with a couple of photos on Instagram a few days ago. They were posted by stephen.j.ward; the video snippet shows a Futuro segment in the process of printing and the two photos show several sections assembled together.
On 112168 Matti J. Suuronen applied for a patent in the US for the Futuro House (assigned to Polykem AB). The patent was issued 021070 as US Patent # D216542 and this patent is shown below. The patent can be accessed online here (Google Patents/Books) and if you wish you can download a the patent as a pdf file.
We came across this image on the website Photoshop Creative. The image is the work of Uruguayan artist Adriana Musetti Dávila. Adriana titled her work "Future City" and used this image of the Royse City Futuro as the basis for her work. We think it is an awesome piece of Futuro related art.
Futuro House Yellow & Orange - Simon Edwards
These two Futuro images were posted to Flickr by Simon Edwards. The photos are titled "Futuro House Yellow" & "Futuro House Orange" and, while there are no descriptions or information, they are clearly "creations".
The image below was posted to Facebook by Mayhem's ART and MUSIC 071119. Interesting art work presumably created in Photoshop (or some similar software). The only comment attached to the post was "Good Night" and so, while that was not actually specifically called out as the title of the work, that is what we have gone with. Though it is not referenced it seems likely the source image was of Royse City some time prior to its 2014 "facelift".
Rainbow - Vibradios
The image below is from Facebook and is by Argentinean design team Vibradios. We am not entirely sure what the image represents but it is an interesting composition based, we believe, on the Dombai Futuro.
Reddit: PSBattle - Multiple Artists
We recently came across a Reddit post titled "PsBattle: This 1960's Futuro House" which started with a photo of the Marseilles Futuro. The photos below, a selection from the responses to the post, were posted (top to bottom) by BOBALOBAKOF, 241baka, -doitforjohnny-, JoeyTapes, thecrimsonchinwonder, NateSak, MonkeyPost, s123man and What_No_Cookie.
Robot - Unknown Artist
This image of a robot in a field with a Futuro (Frisco) in the background can be found on Pinterest here.
Tow Truck - Unknown Artist
Yves Buysse has made many contributions to these pages and he recently sent me these photos showing how the "Tow Truck" image was likely just an photo taken from a very opportune perspective, almost certainly "by design", rather than being a "manipulated" image.
Yves created his own "reproduction" of the shot with the help of a toy truck and a (very cool) "ufo" lamp. The three photos below show exactly how Yves "constructed" the shot and in doing so demostrated how the photo that appears to show the "Ekå" Futuro on the bed of a tow truck could have been shot.
Original Notes 091414
A week ago we added an update to "The Finnish 20" which referenced, among other things, the photo below. At the time we indicated that we felt the photo looked a little "odd." The other day we came across another very similar photo (above left) on the website tow.se which convinces us even more that the photo below has been edited.
The photo below shows a Futuro on top of a tow truck. However the Futuro is far too small in relation to the size of the truck; if this were a real photo of a real event the Futuro would overhang the side of the tow truck to a far greater extent than that seen in the photo.
It is of course highly unlikely this image is "photoshopped" as it is almost certainly from the 1970's and Photoshop was not created until 1988 (Wikipedia) but given we believe it must be a "manipulated" image we figured we would add it to this section of the site since "photoshopped" seems to have become a term associated with image manipulation in general.
Futuro #000 In Turenki - Unknown Artist
In January 2017 we added a copy of Issue 29 of the Russian magazine Projector to our collection of "Things Futuro". We noted at the time that one of the photos in the magazine was a photo of Futuro #000 during its time in Turenki, Finland. Shortly afterwards Yves Buysse who has made many contributions to these pages pointed out to us that the photo was odd; something we should have noticed ourselves but sadly we are not always the most observant of people.
Take a look at the two photos below. The top photos is the photo published in Projector and below is a photo of a postcard we purchased at the Museum Of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki, Finland during a visit in 2014. Both are clearly the same photo but there is a difference; in the Projector photo we see the entrance and lower viewing windows of the Futuro and these are not present in the photo on the postcard.
We are certain that the photo published in Projector has been photoshopped at some time in its life, most likely long before it reached the magazine's publishers, for a number of reasons.
First, the photo on the postcard has been published many times in many different media and it has never shown the entrance and lower viewing windows. In addition the photo published in Projector shows the entrance located directly below one of the windows and it also shows the lower viewing windows located directly beside the entrance and for us this is a problem.
Futuro #000 is currently in the collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands and as a result there is no shortage of photos of this Futuro. Every photo of this Futuro shows that the entrance is located between two windows and that the lower viewing windows are further from the entrance.
In addition the positioning of the entrance directly below a window is typically only seen in US manufactured Futuros and we do not recall seeing the lower viewing windows located right next to the entrance in any of the thousands of Futuro photos in my collection.
We are not too sure why this photo would have been photoshopped in the way it appears to have been but we am absolutely sure that it was.
Los Angeles based NICO & BULLITT describe themselves as a "Shop and gallery featuring local/indie designers and cool stuff". A promotion for Memorial Day 2019 offered 15% off anything orange, yellow or gold and an Instagram post publicizing the event included this rather cool "two tone" image featuring the Joshua Tree Futuro.
A few days ago we came across the photo below on the website apxu.ru and for a moment (but only for a moment) we thought we had come across a photo of a Futuro in a new location (at least to us). In fact the photo is a photoshopped image of the Pensacola Beach Futuro which used a photo by Jerry Gay (above left) as its source.
No idea if this was the sole reason for the construction of this Futuro replica but this series of photos, posted to Instagram by whystudio95, shows us that the (or one of the) uses of the replica was as the backdrop for, what appears to me at least, some sort of space/alien themed fashion shoot.
The series of photos below, posted to Instagram during the period 051519 through 060319 by whyparkgz, show the assembly and completed shell of what at first glance was a Futuro located in Guangzhou, China; that of course was rather exciting (at least to a Futuro nerds such as ourselves) given we had never heard of a Futuro in China.
However, looking at the photos more closely it became apparent, for various reasons, that the photos were actually of a replica of a Futuro and not an actual Futuro. A few of the indications:
The shell segments appear to be too thin as can be seen in the first and second photos
The internal structure of the segments differs from that of an original Futuro; note the "rib" that can be seen close to the top of the interior of the second from left segment in the first photo and the "ribbing" that can be seen on the interior of the shell segments in the fourth and fifth photos
The construction of the entry door and steps clearly differs from that of an original Futuro as can be seen in the seventh photo
Several Google searches have not revealed anything additional about this replica and its purpose (or whether we see the start of an attempt to manufacture and market a "modern Futuro") though one interesting thing did pop up; a search on the string "Guangzhou, China Future replica" does not return anything about a Futuro replica but it does return several results about the manufacture of fake watches, bags, medicines and other fake products - coincidence? Who knows.
If you do happen to anything about this replica (or feel our assessment is inaccurate and that, in fact, we do have a Futuro in China) we would love to hear from you; we can be contacted directly by email or you can use our Contact Form.
"[Imaginactive] is structured as a non-profit organization and it is based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The innovative concept ideas you will find here are meant to be published and shared openly. Charles collaborates with industrial designers from around the world to convert his vision into amazing 3D renderings and animations."
On 080817 a concept titled simply "Futuro" was added to Imaginactive. The concept is described as:
"a theme park ride designed to provide passengers with the experience of a flying saucer ride to Mars. It would be built with Futuro house molds and equipped with VR helmets, hydraulic actuators, and moving seats, which would give the passengers a full spaceship experience.
Upon entering the ride, the passengers would pick a seat and don VR gear. The hydraulic actuators and seats would begin moving, giving the passengers a sensation of upward movement. These feelings would be accompanied by images of the FUTURO lifting into the atmosphere and beyond.
Once past orbital range, the ride would present the passengers with a warp-like effect similar to the one in Star Trek. This would be accompanied by fast-moving space scenery from the windows. The hydraulic actuators and seats could also provide a rumbling sensation. After a while, the warp effect would slow to a stop, leaving a view of Mars from afar.
The FUTURO would then commence a landing sequence, giving the users the sensation of landing on the planet. Once "landed," the FUTURO would stabilize and the passengers could leave their seats. The FUTURO would then move around Mars, giving the passengers a view of the surface and a futuristic settlement."
We are not sure if there is a real intention here to try to actually create this or not. The writer indicates that the original owner of the Finnish Futuro molds has been contacted and that the project would likely cost $100K to bring to fruition. To our knowledge the molds were for sale for $150K and it seems like $100K for the whole thing is, shall we say, a little ambitious but who knows; we shall just have to wait and see.
The awesome graphic renderings below were created for this project by Adolfo Esquivel.