Architecture Magazine

The Futuro House Project - Information, Photos & Locations

By The Grumpy Old Limey @GrumpyOldLimey

The Futuro HouseAN ONGOING SPECIAL FEATURE - UPDATED 062312
More accurately called Futuro Houses these 20th Century prefabricated homes are often referred to as "UFO Houses". I first came across the Futuro House at the beginning of July 2011 right after I had started this website and the one in Royse City, TX, USA became the subject of one of my early articles. Since then I have been fascinated by the Futuro House and I have spent ...   [Image By Runder]



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... many an hour in front of my monitor and tapping on my keyboard researching and collecting all manner of information pertaining to Matti Suuronen's legacy. This "Futuro House Project" is my home for all things Futuro. It is a work in progress and my expectation is that it will be regularly updated as I uncover more information about the Futuro House.
I have made every effort to provide accurate and verified information and as at the date posted information is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate. In particular I have tried to be accurate about the locations of the Futuro Houses; more specifically I made every effort to find them in Google Earth and then to provide the satellite imagery date - clearly as at that date location information must be accurate. No doubt there will be changes; houses will have moved after that date; most likely some of my information will be inaccurate or lacking in detail. I would appreciate all the Futuro fans out there taking an active part in this project. If you can correct something, verify something, add some detail or history, add an image or add video please use the Futuro Contact Form below or email me - any assistance will be greatly appreciated and all contributions will receive full attribution.
Now immerse yourself in the fascinating world of the Futuro House.
PROJECT UPDATE HISTORY - FIND THE LATEST CONTENT
I figure any of you who share my interest [or is that obsession] with Matti Suuronen's creation might check back here from time to time and I am sure you won't want to read a bunch of stuff you have seen before so this section will indicate what has been updated when so you can easily find new content.
  • 062312 - Added Kaimaumau Location
  • 062312 - Added Deep Creek Location
  • 062212 - Added Mallorca Location
  • 062212 - Updated Kvistgård Location
  • 062212 - Updated Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Location [Corrected Serial #]
  • 062212 - Updated Haigerloch Location
  • 120411 - Updated Main Article Section "Myths & Legends"
  • 110711 - Updated Finland Futuros
  • 110111 - Added Finland Futuros
  • 101911 - Updated Livingstone Location
  • 101711 - Added Örebro Location
  • 101611 - Updated Main Article Section "Demolished Or Destroyed"
  • 101611 - Added South Morang Location
  • 101511 - Added Idyllwild Location
  • 101511 - Added San Diego Location
  • 101511 - Added Nichols Canyon Location
  • 101511 - Added Haigerloch Location
  • 101511 - Added Taunusstein Location
  • 101011 - Added Port Alfred Location
  • 100411 - Added McLeans Island Road Location
  • 100411 - Added Christchurch Botanic Garden Location
  • 100311 - Added Raglan Location
  • 100211 - Added Wanli Location
  • 093011 - Added Kvistgård Location
  • 092911 - Added "Myths & Legends" To Main Article Section "Where Are They Now"
  • 092911 - Added France Location
  • 092711 - Added Maebashi Location
  • 092711 - Added Waterfall Bay Location
  • 092611 - Updated & Expanded Main Article Section "I Want One ..."
  • 092511 - Added Dombai Location
  • 092511 - Added Woodruff Location - The PodUpNorth
  • 092311 - Updated Main Article Section "Where Are They Now"
  • 092111 - Added Springfield Location [Futuro no longer at this location]
  • 092011 - Added Livingstone Location
  • 091911 - Added Warrington Location
  • 091811 - Added Witten Location
  • 091711 - Added Vlotho Location [Futuro no longer at this location]
  • 091711 - Added Main Article Section "I Want One"
  • 091711 - Added Main Article Section "Update History"
  • 091711 - Added Brother's Point Location
  • 091611 - Added Béchervaise Island Location
  • 091511 - Added Rockwall Location
  • 091511 - Added Royse City Location
  • 091311 - Added Berlin Location
  • 091211 - Added Canberra University Location
  • 091111 - Published Main Article
  • 091011 - Added Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Location
  • 090811 - Added Lewes Location
  • 090811 - Added Gulf Breeze Location
  • 090811 - Added Tampa Location
  • 090811 - Added Covington Location
  • 090811 - Added Willingboro Location
  • 090811 - Added Buxton Location
  • 090811 - Added Carlisle Location
  • 090711 - Added Dickson Location [Futuro no longer at this location]
  • 090711 - Added Greenwich Location

GENESIS OF AN ARCHITECTURAL ICON
John F. kennedyThe human creative process is fascinating; there is an old saying that "necessity is the mother of invention". That may well be true but it seems to me that there are "muses" other than necessity that are just as likely to inspire creativity and new ideas. The Futuro House may well have come about because of the era in which it was born and it is entirely possible that it simply could not have ever seen the light of day had the initial idea, that spark of creativity that still fascinates so many of us decades later, come into being in a different era.
Apollo 11 LogoThe Futuro House was born of the 1960's. Being born in 1958 the limited recollection I have of those times is filtered through the eyes of a child but the internet is awash with information and remembrances of those times. Despite the ongoing Vietnam War the 60's was a vibrant time, a time of enthusiasm and a time fondly remembered by those who lived it. The nightmare of the Second World War, never forgotten by those who lived through it, was at least beginning it's long transition from "now" to "history". The Great Depression was a couple of decades in the past. It was the era of the hope, and then the ultimate tragedy, of John F. Kennedy and of the heyday of the American Civil Rights Movement and of the always remembered "I Have A Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. The 60's also saw, and perhaps could be said to have been dominated by, the "Space Race" and the never to be forgotten Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. I still recall having goosebumps as Neil Armstrong spoke some of the most famous words ever uttered by man; "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Woodstock PosterIn popular culture the '60's saw the "hippie" movement, "make love not war", Woodstock and The Beatles. Psychedelic Drugs were in vogue. The fashion world saw the Bikini become mainstream and Mary Quant give the women of the world [or is that the men?] the Mini Skirt. The world was living in an era of hope and plenty. The Postwar Economic Boom had a few years yet to run and with the inexorable technological progress of the times it looked like technology would be the answer to the world's problems.
So how does all of this equal Futuro. While the world was experiencing an economic boom it was not without problems; one was its growing population and the associated need for economically viable, easily produced and transportable housing. So, while the Futuro was initially conceived of as a ski cabin that would be “quick to heat and easy to construct in rough terrain” the times into which it was born ultimately caused it to morph into a relatively cheap, "production line" house that would be at least one part of the answer to the world's housing issues.
Thus was born the Futuro House    "Product For The 60's - Architectural Icon For The Ages"
CONCEPT, DESIGN, MANUFACTURING AND MARKETING
Futuro - Bed ChairsAs a product of 60's Finland the Futuro House was born of a society comfortable in the same euphoric times as the rest of the western world. A faith in technology and a strong economy that offered the hope of a higher standard of living and more leisure time typified the times. The original impetus for the creation of the Futuro came from Dr. Kaakko Hiidenkari who, in 1968, commissioned Finnish architect Matti Suuronen to design a ski chalet to be located in Janakkala in central Finland and then elsewhere. Suuronen's initial idea was for a prefabricated ski-cabin and seemed very natural given the times. The cabin would be light and therefore easy to transport to remote locations, easy to construct once on site in unforgiving landscapes and efficient when it came to heating and retaining heat in very cold locations.
In order to meet the primary design criteria the main construction material chosen for the Futuro House was a fiberglass reinforced plastic. Derived from oil in a time when oil was cheap a plastic met all of the requirements; it was relatively cheap and easy to work with, it was light and it offered good insulating characteristics.
The Futuro House also featured polyurethane insulation and this combined with a powerful electric heating system allowed the house to be heated from -20° Fahrenheit to 60° Fahrenheit in only 30 minutes. Criteria met!
Futuro - Transparent ShelvingThe Futuro House was manufactured in 16 prefabricated pieces. The pieces could be mass produced. The house could either be transported by helicopter pre-assembled or it could be assembled on site with little more work than simply bolting the 16 pieces together. Criteria met!
The assembled Futuro House would sit on a steel frame which in turn sat on four concrete piers. The only real onsite construction needed to site a Futuro House was laying the concrete piers. Given the simplicity of the onsite requirements the Futuro House could be situated in almost any terrain [see image above : source]. Criteria met!
The Futuro House, with an approximate diameter of 26 feet and an approximate height of 14 feet was completely furnished and supposedly could accommodate 8 people. To be honest I am not sure I know 8 people I would want to cozy up to quite so much but maybe I am just anti-social - check out the image of the "bed/chairs" a little further down the page and see what you think - it sure does not look like you would have a whole lot of privacy unless you were one of the lucky ones and had the bedroom. The floor plan featured accommodations around a central space to which living and dining areas were open and the very center featured a fireplace and hood. The entry staircase was retractable which helped with insulation and heat retention as well as adding to the "spaceship" like aura of the house. The house also featured many "space age" features [probably very retro now] including light switches installed in the chair/bed armrests and transparent shelving. The image below shows a little marketing "blurb" along with a typical floor plan.
Futuro Brochure
Source: Carly & Art
Without a doubt the best views of the Futuro House as it would have been right out of manufacturing are afforded by the detailed and clearly very painstaking restoration of the prototype Futuro House for an exhibition currently running [May to October 2011] at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands. A video providing some Futuro facts and history along with some footage of the restoration project can be found on boijmans.nl [Dutch narration]. Happy Famous Artists took a wonderful set of photos at the exhibition and then saw fit to host them on Flickr under a creative commons license - I sincerely thank the photographer for doing so. That collection of images is worthy of a page of its own which you can access here.
Perhaps the best and most complete doumented resource available on the design and structure of the Futuro House is the document "Futuro no. 001 : Documentation and evaluation of preservation need". Written as her final thesis for the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Finland Anna-Maija Kuitunen authored a document with great detail on specifications, materials, construction methods and so on. In addition the document includes a large number of plans and images of the interior of the Futuro house. This thesis is freely available online here.
Futuro - Bed ChairsYou could say that the design was perfect for its intended purpose. In fact perhaps it was too perfect. In a world clamoring for cheap, easily manufactured housing it suddenly became perceived as meeting the needs of another, much greater, market. Housing for the common man.
An excerpt from a February 1970 copy of Architecture D’Aujourd’Hui describes “Futuro” as:
"the first model in a series of holiday homes to be licensed in 50 countries, already mass-produced in the United States, Australia and Belgium. The segments of the elliptic envelope are assembled on the site using a metal footing. Through its shape and materials used, the house can be erected in very cold mountains or even by the sea. The area is 50 sq m, the volume 140 cubic m, divided by adaptable partitions."
Source: Wikipedia's Page On The Futuro House

Futuro - FireplaceExamples [here, here and here] of marketing materials from the period of manufacturing clearly show the product targeted at a much broader market then the "ski cabin crowd". How did they do? Perhaps not too well; however while some possibly suspect and cheesy marketing [and maybe that assessment is tainted by a 21st century perspective] may have contributed to the Futuro becoming a relatively rare architectural oddity rather than a feature of every street corner it actually ran into much bigger problems than the power of its marketing. The first video below will let you be the judge of at least one example of Futuro marketing and as a bonus it will give another glimpse of how the interior looked.
The Futuro was not the only modular manufactured house designed by Matti Suuronen; there was also the Venturo [Venturo Brochure]. The second video showcases a Venturo followed by a Futuro. If you can get past the Whitney Houston soundtrack it is some interesting footage. The Futuro footage starts at around a minute forty and showcases one of the customizable features of a Futuro; the standard Futuro had a single row of oval windows circling the structure but it was possible to have additional windows added below the standard row as seen in this example.

Estimates of how many Futuro Houses were manufactured vary with the most common number seeming to be something around 100 and the Futuro house was still, pardon the pun, finding its legs when the calendar hit 1973 and that years Oil Crisis. The almost immediate tripling of the cost of oil caused an almost immediate tripling of the manufacturing cost of a Futuro House. The once bright and powerful business model for Futuro became almost unworkable overnight and with that the future for Futuro tanked. With the radical change in manufacturing cost dooming the Futuro manufacturing continued for only a short time before ceasing for good. Criteria no longer met!
Thus the Futuro House became only an    "Architectural Icon For The Ages"
Interior Images Source: Anna-Maija Kuitunen
SO JUST HOW DID THEY GET TO WHERE THEY WERE GOING?
Futuro - Helicopter TransportGiven the [original at least] perceived main use of the Futuro as a "ski cabin" one of the primary design considerations was ease of transport. By its very nature skiing tends to take place in more rugged and sometimes difficult to access, terrain; I do not ski but I figure skiing on a flat plain would likely not be the best skiing. The choice of materials made the Futuro relatively light and it's construction in 16 pieces made it more convenient for transport.
Primarily there were two methods of transport available. A Futuro could be transported in 16 pieces by road and then assembled on site [or presumably rail though I have been able to find no evidence of this to date] or it could be air lifted by helicopter. Though not specifically advertised as far as I can tell during the early [manufacturing] days a Futuro could also be transported by road fully assembled. Though its size makes this a monumental undertaking even over relatively short distances modern examples of this mode of transport exist and some are well documented.
The image top right illustrates a Futuro being transported using a helicopter - a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane [source: "Futuro no. 001 : Documentation and evaluation of preservation need"] and the document futurohousecanadadoc.pdf found on futurohouse.com includes the image to the left of such an event. The document also includes the following narration originally from the Montreal Gazette of July 11th 1972:
Futuro - Helo Transport - Chinook"Woodbridge, New Jersey - An S-64 Skycrane, built by the Sikorsky division of United Aircraft Corporation, Stratford, Conn., recently airlifted a (FUTURO) Bank Branch Unit and placed it on its site in the main parking area of the Woodbridge Shopping Center here. The unique structure owned by the City Federal Savings and Loan Association is called a "space Bank". It is a factory built spheroid 26' in diameter, 12' feet high, containing 5,000 cubic feet and weighing 13,500 pounds. * It was flown and placed with interior appointments including carpeting, teller counters, cabinets and seating. Electrical and telephone connections were made immediately and the bank was opened for business 30 minutes after it was lowered from the sky.
* Including the weight of the safe and other banking equipment.
"
I had thought that the video below was of the same transport event but looking at the photo and the video the helicopters are clearly different; in the photo there is a twin rotor craft [appears to be a Boeing CH-47 Chinook to me] and in the video a single rotor craft [which I believe is an S-64 Skycrane as mentioned in the text accompanying the photo]. There appear to be a couple of possible scenarios; there were two "space bank" transport events and the image in the document was incorrectly associated with the Woodbridge Shopping Center "space bank" or there was a single event and again the image used in the document was of another transport not associated with the "space bank" transport. Further research is needed here and I will update as and when I have clarification.

I have been unable to locate any images or videos of road transport from the early days but there are well documented cases from more recent times.
Futuro - On The RoadIn December 2004 Futuro owner Milford Wayne Donaldson oversaw the move of his "baby" from San Diego to a rocky Idyllwild mountain top in the San Jacinto Mountains of California. Donaldson had purchased the Futuro that had been located in Hillcrest Canyon, San Diego since 1977 in 2002 and after, being at a temporary location for refurbishment, it was making the move to what Donaldson hoped would be its final home.
Considering the Futuro had ease of transportation as one of its primary design considerations the five hour journey was perhaps a little more complex than one might have imagined. Preparing for the trip involved months of extensive planning. A passable route had to be devised; not too difficult on the freeway portion of the journey maybe but once up in the mountains there were sections where clearance dropped to inches and trees had to be trimmed to allow the Futuro through. There was the flatbed to arrange, pilot cars to arrange, highway patrol escorts to arrange and permits to obtain.
Luckily for Donaldson a good friend of his was in the moving business. Larry Wood was the owner of San Diego Boat Movers and it was his company that, ever so carefully, transported the Futuro. Wood was quoted as saying:
"We've moved a lot of strange things, but that's the first flying saucer house we've ever moved."
All in all it was a seriously significant undertaking. A SignOnSanDiego.com article dated January 2nd 2005 perhaps sums up most aptly the kind of challenge the movers faced:
Futuro - Flatbed"And in downtown Idyllwild, the entire crew held its breath while more measurements were taken before the Futuro – which measures 26 feet wide – headed for its tightest squeeze: Only 4 inches to spare, ideally 2 on each side, between hefty trees that hug the road. Driver Larry Wood cleared it on the first try."
An image of the Futuro on the road is above left [source: JoelInSouthernCA]. You can see clearly the Futuro overhanging both sides of the roadway and the vehicles that had to pull completely off the road to get out of the way. The image to the right is from the moving company's website, San Diego Boat Movers, and shows the Futuro on the flatbed before being wrapped in its protective "blanket".
More recently the cost of moving his Futuro is proving possibly too prohibitive for one Futuro owner. Matt Damon owns the Greenwich, New Jersey Futuro; a PressOfAtlanticCity article from December 2009 reports as follows regarding the liklihood of the Futuro being moved:
"Damon plans to live in the Futuro at the marina or on a lot nearby, as the cost to transport the house is infeasible. Often, helicopters were used to carry Futuros to their destinations, but Damon estimates it would cost him about $100 per mile to do so.
The permitting and costs required to put the saucer-shaped house on a flatbed and drive it up to Damon's home in Tuckahoe, N.Y., also would be unrealistic, he said. Being at the marina, however, Damon said - if he guesses right and the Futuro is the next hot thing - the house can be put on a barge and sent all around the world.
"
So Futuro's clearly got moved somehow and that begs the question "where are they now?"
Oh and one final video for this section - a little tongue in cheek actually. This video made the rounds a while ago; it is not about Futuro but it does feature Futuro in a comparison to another video touted by some as a "real" UFO being moved - I have my opinion and I will leave you to yours.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
The following section lists all the Futuro Houses I have been able to identify/confirm. I am sure that this list is far from complete and while the information presented is as accurate as possible I am equally sure that there will be some inaccuracies or out of date information. If you are aware of a location I do not have listed, a move that has taken place that the lists do not reflect or any other additional or corrected information please let me know by using the Futuro Contact Form below or by emailing me.
Detailed information including precise location, maps, history, photographs, videos and links for each location can be accessed by clicking on the location link. If you find incomplete or inaccurate information relating to a specific Futuro or you have images or other resources that would help paint a fuller picture please let me know.
For a Google Map showing all confirmed locations click here.
FUTURO LOCATIONS [CLICK LINKS FOR DETAILED LOCATION INFORMATION]
  1. Antarctica - Béchervaise Island | Confirmed 062911 | gm2
  2. Australia - University Dr, Bruce ACT 2617 [Approximate] | Confirmed 032311
  3. Australia - Blowhole Creek Rd, Deep Creek SA, Australia [Approximate] | Confirmed 012310
  4. Australia - Brother's Point, Macquarie Island | Confirmed 080811 | g
  5. Australia - Waterfall Bay, Macquarie Island | Confirmed 091111 | g
  6. Australia - 365 McDonalds Rd, South Morang VIC 3752 | Confirmed 020810
  7. Denmark - Egeskovvej 12, 3490 Kvistgård | Confirmed 053111 | m2
  8. Finland - Åland Islands [Vicinity Only] | Confirmed 040610
  9. Finland - Hirvensalmi [Vicinity Only] | Confirmed 041111
  10. Finland - Kauhava [Vicinity Only] | Confirmed 032910
  11. Finland - Merimasku [Vicinity Only] | Confirmed 051710
  12. France - Unknown Location In France [Vicinity Only] | Confirmed 2011
  13. Germany - Rosenstraße 219, 12459, Berlin [Approximate] | Confirmed 042609
  14. Germany - Madertal 6, 72401 Haigerloch [Approximate] | Confirmed 061012
  15. Germany - Aarstraße 176, 65232 Taunusstein | Confirmed 123108
  16. Germany - Ruhrstraße 110, 58452 Witten | Confirmed 061911
  17. Japan - 371-0805 2-38-2 Minami-cho, Maebashi, Gunma | Confirmed 050509
  18. Netherlands - Restored Prototype 000 On Museum Display, Rotterdam | Confirmed 052811
  19. New Zealand - 12A Mcleans Island Rd, Harewood 8051 | Confirmed 022511
  20. New Zealand - 22 Lake Road, Kaimaumau, Northland, 0486 | Confirmed 040312
  21. New Zealand - 13 Park Rd, Warrington, Otago, 9471 | Confirmed 111210
  22. New Zealand - 115 Riria Kereopa Memorial Dr, Raglan 3297 | Confirmed 071210
  23. Russia - Hotel Tarelka, Teberda District, Dombai Village [Approximate] | Confirmed 082409
  24. South Africa - 22 High St, Port Alfred | Confirmed 011910
  25. Spain - Carrer de la Vall Verda 07184 Calvià [Approximate] | Confirmed 091110
  26. Sweden - Radiatorvägen 7 702 27 Örebro | Confirmed 123109
  27. Taiwan - Tingtão Rd, Wanli District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 207 | Confirmed 2011 | m13
  28. USA - 30931 Big Rock Dr, Idyllwild, CA 92549 [Approximate] | Confirmed 062311
  29. USA - 7764 Torreyson Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90046 | Confirmed 072611
  30. USA - Eagles Crest Rd, Lewes, DE 19958 [Approximate] | Added 090811 | u
  31. USA - 1304 Panferio Dr, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561 | Added 090811 | u
  32. USA - 2309 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33607 | Added 090811 | u
  33. USA - 708 Chs 68, Livingston, IL 62088 [Approximate] | Confirmed 100811
  34. USA - 224 Wright Street, Covington, KY 41011 | Added 090811 | u
  35. USA - 390 Hancock Harbor Road, Greenwich, NJ 08323 [Approximate] | Confirmed 071111
  36. USA - 310 Beverly Rancocas Rd, Willingboro, NJ 08046 [Approximate] | Added 090811 | u
  37. USA - 52256 N Carolina 12, Buxton, NC 27920 Approximate] | Added 090811 | u
  38. USA - 9961 Central Ave, Carlisle, OH 45005 | Added 090811 | m2u
  39. USA - 779 Stevens Rd, Rockwall, TX 75032 | Confirmed 091411
  40. USA - 9573 State Highway 276 W, Royse City, TX 75189 | Confirmed 091411
  41. USA - 1502 Mattke Rd, Woodruff, WI 54568 [Approximate] | Confirmed 2011
FUTURO LOCATIONS STILL IN RESEARCH - DETAIL PAGE NOT YET PUBLISHED
  1. New Zealand - 115 Huntsbury Avenue, Huntsbury, Canterbury | Confirmed 030309 | m2
    [43°34'17.44"S 172°39'19.61"E]
  2. Norway - Hyttesone I 80, 3296 | Confirmed 042108
    [58°58'18.37"N 9°51'28.68"E]
  3. USA - 4388 Deep Grass Ln, Houston, DE 19954 | Confirmed 070310
    [38°55'12.63"N 75°30'52.02"W]
  4. USA - 1774 Old Peoria Rd, Danvers, IL 61732 \ Confirmed 101503
    [40°32'21.31"N 89°14'2.57"W]
PAST FUTURO LOCATIONS [CLICK LINKS FOR DETAILED LOCATION INFORMATION]
  1. Australia - 8 Hawdon Street, Dickson, ACT, 2602 | Confirmed 092710
    Now located at Australia - University Dr, Bruce ACT 2617 [Approximate]
  2. Germany - Hollwieser Straße 7 32602 Vlotho | Confirmed 091306
    Now located at Germany - Ruhrstraße 110, 58452 Witten
  3. New Zealand - Botanic Garden, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch 8013 | Confirmed 032507
    Now located at New Zealand - 12A Mcleans Island Rd, Harewood 8051
  4. USA - 3601 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92103 | Confirmed 072001
    Now located at USA - 30931 Big Rock Dr, Idyllwild, CA 92549 [Approximate]
  5. USA - 7357 Illinois 29, Cantrall, IL 62625 | Confirmed 062709
    Now located at USA - 708 Chs 68, Livingston, IL 62088
FUTUROS DEMOLISHED [CLICK LINKS FOR DETAILED LOCATION INFORMATION]
  1. Germany - Birminghamstraße 119, 65934 Frankfurt am Main
  2. USA - 8216 N Semmes St, Tampa, FL 33604
PREVIOUSLY CONFIRMED FUTUROS NOW LOCATION UNKNOWN
FUTURO "MYTHS & LEGENDS" | THE POSSIBLE, THE UNCLEAR & THE DEBUNKED
  1. DEBUNKED | USA - 11374 Tara Dr, Plantation, FL 33325
  2. DEBUNKED | USA - On I-72 Near Monticello, IL
LOCATION / UNIT STATS
  • 96 Futuros were manufactured [this is the most commonly quoted number]
  • 61 Futuros have been identified/confirmed at 45 separate locations
  • 2 Futuros have been identified/confirmed as demolished
  • 63 total Futuros are accounted for
  • 33 or 34.4% of total Futuros are unaccounted for
There are many widely differing reports as to how many Futuros were actually manufactured. The most commonly quoted number is 96 though I have been unable to ascertain the original source of that number. However since that is the best number I can find I am basing my location stats on the assumption that 96 Futuros were manufactured.
I am also unable to find any source that would indicate whether the modified Futuros known as "Goonies" are included in the 96. For the purposes of my location stats I have assumed that they are.
As always if you have better information please let me know.
NOTES
  • DATES: the "Confirmed" date listed for a location is the latest of:
    • the date of Google Earth imagery showing a Futuro at the location
    • the date of an image or video showing a Futuro at the location
    • the date of a report confirming a Futuro at the location
  • LOCATIONS: the address listed is accurate and lat/long is known unless listed as:
    • "Approximate" - lat/long is known but address is only approximate
    • "Vicinity Only" - both lat/long and address are unknown
  • LETTER CODES: letter codes against a location indicate:
    • g - the unit(s) at this location are modified Futuros known as "Googies"
    • m - there are multiple Futuros on site at this location [# indicates the count]
    • u - there is updated material pending publication

I WANT ONE [OR IF I CAN'T HAVE ONE CAN I AT LEAST GET THE EXPERIENCE?]
So you have seen enough? You have the bug? You want to live out your life in a cool, fully refurbished Futuro House. Me; I would love one as a second home on a lake or mountain or even both [how fantastic would that be - on a mountainside overlooking a picturesque lake] somewhere but I doubt I will ever have the resources to buy, transport and then refurbish one. For those of you who are somewhat better fixed than me in the financial department there is actually a Futuro on sale in the USA at the moment - at least as far as I can tell. The owner has a website on which he offers his Futuro for sale; the site does not appear to be dated though there are images on the site with a date of 010111 which clearly suggests the Futuro was for sale on that date. I have to assume that had the owner sold it he would have taken down the website so, as of the date of writing, 091711 I have to believe the Futuro is still for sale.
The image below shows the Futuro and clearly show that it needs significant restoration work to be habitable [there are many more images on the owner's website]. The owner is not making any attempt to hide this; in fact just the opposite, it seems that he is a passionate fan who hoped to be able to live a dream but finds himself in the unfortunate position of not having the resources to properly complete the restoration project and I for one respect and admire him for his wish to sell with the hope the Futuro finds an owner who will do it justice and give it the love [and money] it needs.
So - here is your chance to own your own Architectural Icon! Go for it!
Futuro For Sale - Location Unknown
Image Source: FuturoHouse.net
So what about those of us who will most likely never be able to afford to buy and refurbish a Futuro? Is there any way for us to have any kind of a Futuro experience given that the vast majority of Futuros still around are privately owned and not accessible other than as a view from the street? Well - the good news is there are several different options for you to be able to do just that.


Vacation In A Futuro In Wisconsin
There is a Futuro for rent located on Lake Sumach in northern Wisconsin. Owner Drew Poggeman rents out the PodUpNorth from May to October. My guess is it would be a wonderful location for a romantic lake getaway for two or perhaps as an active "outdoorsy" type of vacation for the family. You can find more details and information on the PodUpNorth page here on The Futuro House Project or go direct to the PodUpNorth website to make your booking now.

Futuro To Rent - Pod Up North

Image Source: PodUpNorth
Tour A Futuro In Berlin
Cora Geissler owns Futuro #13 located on the banks of the Spree in Berlin. The Futuro is used as a second home and is in excellent condition. In the article "How I Learned To Love A UFO Cora describes how she became so passionate about her Futuro. At the end of the article she indicates that it may be possible to arrange a visit/tour of her Futuro. For more details and information visit the Berlin Futuro page or email Cora to inquire about your own Futuro tour - you can find the email at the end of Cora's article.
Futuro Berlin

Image Source: Wikipedia
Relax With An Ice Cream In A Futuro
Dave Hammond, owner of the Pink Elephant Antique Mall in Livingston, IL moved a Futuro from Springfield, IL to his business in Livingston. The Futuro needed considerable work but Hammond's stated goal [Springfield State Journal Register article dated 012310] was to turn the Futuro into a " ... dining area with booths, where people can sit and eat ice cream." At the time of writing [092611] I don't believe this transition is complete but sometime in the not too distant future you should be able to enjoy a refreshing ice cream on a warm summer's day in IL and grab a little taste of the Futuro atmosphere at the same time. For more details and exact location see the Livingston Futuro page.
Futuro Livingston

Image Source: yooperann
 
Check Out A Futuro In Texas
Royse City, Texas is home to one of only two Futuros I have actually been able to visit. Sadly this example is abandoned and dilapidated. However it sits on what appears to be open land right on the side of the highway and you can easily pull in and take a look both outside and inside. In the state it is in you clearly cannot get a look at how a Futuro looked or felt when it was in original or refurbished condition but it does give you the opportunity to get some feel for the size and shape which in turn allows you to imagine the original condition much more readily. Is it the ideal Futuro experience? Of course not. But if geography time or money make it the only viable option for you I say it is well worth it. It was for me. For more information and the exact location check out the Royse City Futuro page.
Futuro Royse City

Image Source: Grumpy Old Limey Original
An Adult Perspective On Futuro?
For those of you of age and that way inclined there is a Futuro located on top of a Strip Club in Tampa, Florida. Now that clearly is not going to be everyone's ideal way to see a Futuro [not mine for sure] but it may be for some; each to their own I say. The Futuro is reported to be the club's VIP room; a whole new meaning to "out of this world" for those with the money and the inclination I guess. For details and location see the Tampa Futuro page.
Futuro Tampa

Image Source: ferrett111
See A "Mint Condition" Futuro On Exhibition
The original Futuro Prototype 001 has been fully and lovingly restored and, at the time of writing [092611], remains on display at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Hopefully when this exhibition ends in October 2011 Futuro 001 will be relocated and exhibited somewhere else; in my opinion it would be a tragedy if it did not remain available for Futuro fans to visit. Without a doubt this is the best, and possibly the only, opportunity you are likely to have to see a Futuro as it was originally designed and in mint condition so if you can take your chance while you have it. For more information and some great photos see the Futuro 001 page.
Futuro 001 Netherlands Exhibition

Image Source: Happy Famous Artists


Get Your Friends Together, Take A Ski Vacation In Russia & Enjoy The Use Of A Futuro


Futuro Dombai

Image Source: WAM.org
 
If skiing is your thing and you have the Futuro "bug" as well you might do worse than consider the Hotel Tarelka in Dombai, Russia for your next winter sports vacation. Travel deep into the Caucasus Mountains and get close to nature in its raw and awe inspiring beauty as you rent a small group of cabins for your party of friends and a Futuro is your "mess hall" for dining and other communal activities. The "hotel" is rented as a whole for a group of 8-12 so get your friends together and experience Futuro as it was originally intended. For more information check out the Dombai Futuro page or the Hotel Info page hosted on Dombai.info.


RESOURCES - WEB, MEDIA, VIDEO, PRINT
Note that this is a general list of available resources not a list of sources used in the creation of this article and it's associated pages; a list of general sources used can be found at the bottom of this page. In addition each specific Futuro House page contains a list of sources relating to that specific location.
ACADEMIC & MUSEUMS
  • "Futuro no. 001 : Documentation and evaluation of preservation need"
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen - Futuro Exhibition [Prototype 001 Futuro]
  • University of Canberra Restoration Project - Media Center Article
  • University of Canberra Restoration Project - Email From Netherlands Restoration Team
DOCUMENTS
  • futurohousecanadadoc.pdf on futurohouse.com
ONLINE - GENERAL
  • FuturoHouse.com - An Extensive Source Of All Things Futuro
  • Wikipedia's Page On The Futuro House
ONLINE - IMAGE GALLERIES
  • Badger 23 [Wanli Futuros]
  • city tales [Wanli Futuros]
  • Flickr - Search for "Futuro House"
  • futurohouse [Witten Futuro]
  • Happy Famous Artists [Prototype 001 Futuro]
  • Peggy Scott [Wanli Futuros]
  • Steevithak [Royce City Futuro]
  • The Grumpy Old Limey [Royce City Futuro and Rockwall Futuro]
  • The Shopping Sherpa [Dickson Futuro]
ONLINE - MEDIA
  • 666 ABC Canberra - Radio Segment [D/L MP3 4.54MB here]
  • PressOfAtlanticCity [Greenwich, New Jersey Futuro]
  • San Diego Union-Tribune Online - SignOnSanDiego.com [Idyllwild, California Futuro]
ONLINE - VIDEOS
  • Futuro Promo
  • Helicopter Transport Of A Futuro [Woodbridge "Space Bank" Futuro]
  • Restoration Project By Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen [Prototype 001 Futuro]
  • Restoration Project By The University Of Canberra Australia [Canberra Futuro]
  • Showing Both Suuronen's Prefabs - Venturo & Futuro

FUTURO CONTACT FORM
Please use this form to suggest additional sites or information, corrections or updates to existing data or for questions regarding image or media attribution - basically anything Futuro. If you provide your email address it will be used to respond to your submission only and then deleted unless you check yes to be added to the mailing list. In that case your email will be used for that one purpose and the only emails you will receive will be advising you that updates to the "Project" have taken place. As with most things this site will improve only if it's readers provide feedback indicating what I can do to make it serve their needs better and I encourage and look forward to all feedback be it positive or negative.
I would also encourage the use of the comment form below for general comments and discussion that all Futuro aficionados can take part in. There is a great deal of factual information here but there are also opinions - how the Futuro came about - success or failure and so on - and lively debate about opinions is what keeps the world, and in particular the web, a tickin'.




Sources Used In Creating This Project
  • Artfact.com Listing Relating To A Christie's [France] Futuro House Auction in 2007
  • Dombai.info
  • "Futuro no. 001 : Documentation and evaluation of preservation need"
  • futurohousecanadadoc.pdf on futurohouse.com
  • FuturoHouse.com
  • FuturoHouse.net
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen - Exhibition Of Restored Futuro Prototype
  • PodUpNorth.com
  • PressOfAtlanticCity
  • San Diego Union-Tribune Online - SignOnSanDiego.com
  • Springfield State Journal Register
  • Wikipedia



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