10 Out-of-This-World Facts About the Futuro House
1. Origin: The Futuro House was designed in 1968 by Finnish designer Matti Suuronen. Its design was originally commissioned to be used as a holiday home or après ski lodge, with its curved dome roof allowing it to easily shed snow.
(Source: http://www.futurohouse.net/photos.htm )
2. Cost: The Futuro was originally priced at $12,000 USD, which included all the built in furniture and facilities. That's equivalent to about $80,000 in today's money, factoring in inflation.
3. Portability: The Futuro House was lightweight enough that it could be helicoptered into position on remote locations.
4. Production: There would have been thousands of Futuros produced had it not been for the fateful timing of the 1973 oil crisis which made oil prices surge 300-400%. This tripled the cost of the plastic used in the Futuro's construction. The window for Futuro production was incredibly brief and only an estimated 100 were produced. Some are still lived in full-time such as this one in Milton, DE.
Source: The Daily Times (Salisbury, Maryland) · Tue, Aug 30, 2016 · Main Edition · Page A5
5. Structure: The Futuro house shell is made up of 16 sections, each a piece of sandwiched polyurethane insulation encased in reinforced plastic (fiberglass). This modular design allowed the segments to be transported in pieces and assembled on site. Original molds for these segments are even available (for USD $150,000) to any adventurous entrepreneurs looking to bring back the Futuro! Interested parties should contact Mr. Jyrki Aho via firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Floor Plan: The curved form allows for an interior space that is 26' in diameter and 11' high in the center. The circular scheme continues on the inside with curved seating, kitchen counters and pie shaped segments for a bedroom and bathroom. It featured a full kitchen, separate bedroom and bathroom AND a central barbecue/firepit with a built in stereo underneath.
Source: The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) · Sun, May 17, 1970 · [First Edition] · Page 164
7. Windows: The elliptical windows are made from two acrylic sheets, allowing a curved profile and providing a basic double pane insulation. Some models had sections with extra sets of lower-set windows allowing more of a traditional view of the outside.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) · Mon, Sep 29, 1969 · Page 11
8. Furnishings: The Futuro was totally groovy! It had a 23 foot sofa which quickly converted from seats to beds and wall to wall shag carpeting.
Source: The Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, Indiana) · Tue, Sep 2, 1969 Page 13
9. Other Models : A variation on the Futuro House was the Futuro II-X which was a longer version, with a straight section added between the two curved half sections. Only one is known to have been produced.
Matti Suuronen also designed another fantastic futuristic prefab home called the CF-45 Venturo. This one was renovated and opened in 2015 in Orimattila, near Lahti, about 100 km from Helsinki.
10. Plastic Houses: The Futuro House was one of many plastic houses developed in the 1960s and 70s when plastic and similar products were very inexpensive. Fantastic fairs of futuristic designs took place such as this one in Germany:
Source: The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) · Thu, Aug 26, 1971 · Page 25