The Fututo House - funky space age living
December 22, 2003 6:09 AM   Subscribe

The Futuro House - designed in 1968 by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, this funky place is an example of space age utopian architecture. Made largely of plastic, the oil crisis nipped the design in the bud. Should you decide to build along these lines, here's some ideas for '70s decor.
posted by madamjujujive (16 comments total)
God there is one on top of a house on Pensacola Beach. I always wondered what the hell that was. I actually wondered what sort of groovy person put it there and what it looked like inside. Maybe I should go knock.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 6:33 AM on December 22, 2003

Buckminster Fuller was thinking along these same lines well prior to the Futuro's debut, and built two prototype Dymaxion homes in 1945 out of aluminum.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:34 AM on December 22, 2003

What I find interesting about proverbial futuristic design is that it seems out there at the time, but years later, in retrospect is heavily rooted and influenced in the era the piece was designed in. The Futuro is very much a case of this; take for instance "current" retro design. It has similar lines, color, form and material as the Futuro.
posted by pedantic at 6:55 AM on December 22, 2003

mjj - The site has crashed from all the Mefi traffic! That's OK - I think I can visualize the plastic house quite well. Meanwhile....

While we are waiting for the plastic house site to be fixed, we can check out the Paper House or, even better, the beer can house.

"Beer cans quickly became John's exclusive medium -- a convenient one, since John drank a lot of beer. He worked on the house for the next 18 years, incorporating a six-pack a day into its adornment -- roughly 39,000 cans. He linked pull-tabs into long streamers to make curtains that chimed when the wind blew. "This curtain idea is just one of those dreams in the back of my noodle," he explained at the time.

"John thought beer cured everything," explained Mary, his wife, after John had died. "

posted by troutfishing at 7:18 AM on December 22, 2003

Something similar: the Mushroom House, in Boulder, Colorado.
posted by carter at 7:19 AM on December 22, 2003

posted by kfury at 7:24 AM on December 22, 2003

damn, that was fast! The second link is from a different place and has some pics. And here's a few more with some links to other sources..

Thanks for all the thread-salvaging links posted - interesting stuff, and a nice example good MeFi neighborliness!
posted by madamjujujive at 7:37 AM on December 22, 2003

Even better pix from a documentary that was made about the house.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:52 AM on December 22, 2003

Not quite as sexy, but there's the Disney/Monsanto House of the Future.
posted by O9scar at 7:54 AM on December 22, 2003

Mourn the passing of Xanadu.
posted by Tubes at 8:39 AM on December 22, 2003

The first modern shopping mall in our part of Cincinnati opened in the early '70s. I specifically remember several of the screwy shows, promotions, and product tie-ins that they brought in to attract customers to this odd new shopalopolis.

There was--I kid you not--a goat-heavy petting zoo once a year, and I recall a very provocative public demonstration of a combination bath/shower/sauna that would magically let you simulate any season or climate right in your own midwestern bathroom.

But the coolest one ever though was the spaceship-like "House of the Future" which--if a 30-year-old memory serves--was *very similar* to the house shown in this feature.

It was so big they had to take the doors off the mall entrance and bring it in to assemble in pieces. The interior was all shag carpeting and weird-shaped furniture. And it had the claustrophobic and overwrought opulence of a teenager's custom van.

I, however, declared it aloud to be the best thing ever and announced right there that my family would be moving into it--preferably the one right there in our mall--as soon as possible. Talk about location. Regrettably, things didn't work out that way; so we just left and headed home to our decidedly non-futuristic townhouse in the suburbs.

Thanks for the links and a great memory.
posted by merlinmann at 9:30 AM on December 22, 2003

bummer . link exceeded traffic limits.

for some awesome modern furniture from denmark:

posted by specialk420 at 10:19 AM on December 22, 2003

I've got a complete "Family Circle Do - it - Yourself" 16 volume Encyclopedia from 1970, so all the pictures look like they're from 1966 except for the puke brown/olive green/orange/yellow color scheme that's very early 1970's.

It's got lots of plans, including one for an "A-Frame" dog house. Some of the production values are quite good whioe one picture - displaying a window frame succesfully assembled from the provided plans - the view out the window looks out upon a tree which has obviously birds, a squirrel and an owl - all obviously stuffed - glued to the tree branches.

It's charming.

A lot of the pictures of the home interiors in it look like the interiors of the 'plastic house'. Plus, it's got great tips on how to jazz up rooms with clashing polka-dot and painted zigzag-on-the walls patterns that make my head spin.

I should put the pictures up on a website, but Family Circle would probably bust my ass for copyright violations.

Maybe I'll put the set on Ebay, 'round tax return time.
posted by troutfishing at 10:44 AM on December 22, 2003

more retro goodies here
posted by specialk420 at 2:26 PM on December 22, 2003

This is all making me hungry for a retro-stylin' turkey dinner at the Gobbler.
posted by Tubes at 2:49 PM on December 22, 2003

Anybody who grew up in Philadelphia in the early '70s remembers the Futuro at 23rd and the Parkway. I sure do! When a Futuro documentary came out on DVD in Japan two years back, o boy did I snap it up - come to think of it, I bought it from a museum that was showing "R. Buckminster Fuller: Your Private Sky."

The documentary is great, too. The way-mod interiors were the shiznit! If I ever saw one come on the market, I'd have to seriously consider making a bid on it...
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:22 PM on December 22, 2003

« Older Rare Botany Books   |   Lawyer of the Rings Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments