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The Futuro House was conceived by Matti Suuronen in 1968 as a "portable" ski chalet. It is an iconic piece of architecture and this website is devoted to documenting the history of the Futuro House and the current status and whereabouts of the remaining examples.

                   

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         UPDATED 032517 | ADDED 091011 | ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS | HOME | LOCATIONS - LIST - PREVIOUS - NEXT
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Museumpark 18-20, 3015 CX Rotterdam, Netherlands | 51°54'51.88"N 4°28'22.66"E
Featured Image By Happy Famous Artists | CC 2.0 | Date 052811
 
Google Maps | Satellite Imagery Date 093007 | Futuro Not Visible
Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit  
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Additional Images & Video
 
Notes, History & Resources
Update 043016

The two videos below from the website yle.fi have been around a long time but until recently I had not noticed that there was an option to embed them so I had not included them here assuming that would impinge on copyright. Having found an option to get embedding code it is clear that the videos can be shared and so I chose to add them here.

That said so far I have not been able to get the actual embed code from yle.fi to work so for now I have included archived copies of the footage which I will replace with true embedded versions when I can figure out how to the code to work. There is no sound with these videos [well actually there is static so I suggest you turn your sound off or down low to play them].

The videos both hail from the early days of Futuro with the first dated 032968 and the second 091068.

In the first video we see what I believe is this Futuro still under construction at the Polykem plant [it could possibly be a later prototype as the video does not specify but based on the video's date it seems likely to me that it is indeed Futuro #000].

The second video is footage of this Futuro when it was located on the property of Jaakko Hiidenkari in Turenki.





These videos are embedded using the HTML5 Video tag but I have only tested in Chrome. In other browsers they may or may not function. If you are unable to view the videos they can be downloaded from here and here for local playback. They can also be found on the yle.fi website.

And, while I am "on a roll" adding old videos, another interesting vintage video of this Futuro during its time in Turenki can be found in the AP Archive. In this case there are no options to embed/share without a cost so you will have to check this video out here.



Update 032016

Although this Futuro was acquired by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen back in 2007 and restored starting in 2009 the museum recently [022416] posted the video below to Youtube. The video includes a little general Futuro historical information along with some great footage of the process of assembling a Futuro.

Despite the restoration taking place several years ago I do not recall seeing this footage previously [which of course does not mean it was not out there; regular readers of this site will be aware of my somewhat suspect memory].





Update 020716

I recently added the postcard below to my collection of "Things Futuro". While the text on the back of the postcard does not identify the location of the Futuro based on other photographs I am of the opinion that it depicts this Futuro during its time in Turenki, Finland during the 1970's.

1998 Italina Linen Postcard - Futuro #000 - Turenki 1970's - Front



Update 061414

As previously mentioned Futuro #000 was displayed 013198-042698 as a part of the "68 - Design & Popular Culture Between Consumerism & Conflict" exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, Germany [Catalog].

This week Stephan Hacker was kind enough to send me the photos below which were taken at the exhibition. The quality is a little grainy [Stephan tells me he had only a very small camera in those days] but it is still very interesting to see photos from the exhibition. My thanks to Stephan for sharing them.

The final photo is testament to the fact that the chair/bed units in the Futuro were more comfortable than they might appear at first; Stephan was clearly able to relax in one!

Dusseldorf 1968 - By Stephan Hacker - Exterior

Dusseldorf 1968 - By Stephan Hacker - Lounge

Dusseldorf 1968 - By Stephan Hacker - Stair

Dusseldorf 1968 - By Stephan Hacker - Kitchen  Dusseldorf 1968 - By Stephan Hacker - Bathroom

Dusseldorf 1968 - By Stephan Hacker - Relaxing



Update 031514

The three images below, courtesy of MVRDV, provide us with impressions of the Collection Building which is destined to open in 2017 and will provide a new rooftop home for this Futuro.

Public Art Depot MBVB - Exterior - Artist's Impression

Public Art Depot MBVB - Roof Top - Artist's Impression

Public Art Depot MBVB - Plan



Update 080413

The video below is by "The Unknown Cameraman" - the footage appears to be a composite of footage from Vernissage TV showing this Futuro, the Greenwich Futuro and the Willingboro Futuro. The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen footage starts at 01:30. At one point in the commentary the video indicates the footage has been taken at various points in New Jersey - clearly the Vermissage TV footage was not shot in New Jersey.





Update 123012

Several of the images displayed below are low quality low res photos from my copy of "Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday". My intention is to illustrate this article and the history of Futuro #000 and not to provide copyright infringing images to be copied and reproduced elsewhere so please respect the author's rights and if you would like to use the book's content purchase your own copy. Thanks!

The first prototype Futuro, #000, was manufactured at the Polykem plant in 1968. The photos below show the #000 at the Polykem plant.

Futuro Book - Pages 17 - #000 Manufacturing Shot
Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday | Home & Taanila

Futuro Book - Pages 25 - #000 Manufacturing Shots
Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday | Home & Taanila

Futuro #000 was initially located on Jaakko Hiidenkari's property in Turenki. The image below shows the Futuro in Turenki in August 1969 and is displayed courtesy of G. Kock of filatelia.fi.

Futuro #000 In Turenki - fialatelie.fi

Beginning in 1990 with the installation "The Eagle Has Landed - Unidentified Flying Object - An Exhibition About UFOs" at the RADAR exhibition in Kotka, Finland [062890-090290] Futuro #000 appeared at a number of exhibitions.

RADAR | Kotka, Finland | 062890-090290

Futuro Book - Pages 40-41 - RADAR Exhibit
Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday | Home & Taanila

SKOP | Vienna, Austria | 051096-070796

Futuro Book - Pages 40-41 - RADAR Exhibit
Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday | Home & Taanila

Finnish Design Of The 1960's | Utrecht, Netherlands | 053197-070697

Futuro Book - Pages 40-41 - RADAR Exhibit
Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday | Home & Taanila

Centraal Museum Office Space | Utrecht, Netherlands | 0898-0799

Futuro Book - Pages 40-41 - RADAR Exhibit
Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday | Home & Taanila

Vision & Reality | Humlebæk, Denmark | 092100-011401

Futuro Book - Pages 40-41 - RADAR Exhibit
Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday | Home & Taanila

SKOR | Amsterdam, Netherlands | 092801-010702

The photos below of Futuro #000 at SKOR are by Theo Krijgsman.

Futuro #000 - SKOR 1 - Theo Krijgsman

Futuro #000 - SKOR 2 - Theo Krijgsman

Futuro #000 - SKOR 3 - Theo Krijgsman

Ideal Living | Utrecht, Netherlands | ?-011203

The photo below shows the Futuro around the end of 2002 when it was displayed as part of the Ideal Living exhibition. The photo is courtesy of the website designartnews [Dutch | Google translation to English here].

Futuro #000 - Ideal Living - 2003 - designartnews

Futuro #000 remained with the Centraal Museum for several more years. In late 2008 it was still located in a courtyard there as illustrated by these excellent shots taken 111608 by Klaas5.

Futuro #000 - 2008 - Klaas5 - 1

Futuro #000 - 2008 - Klaas5 - 2

Futuro #000 - 2008 - Klaas5 - 3

The prototype Futuro was eventually acquired by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and underwent extensive restoration; a least part of that work was undertaken by the company Poly Products and the photo below is courtesy of the company website.

Futuro #000 - Restoration - Poly Products

The video below is by RTV Rijnmond and shows footage of the Futuro nearing the completion of the restoration project.



The first use of Futuro #000 by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen was as the main feature of "Futuro - Constructing Utopia", an exhibition that ran in the museum's Bodon gallery from 052111 to 100911. An excellent set of photos of the Futuro at that exhibition by Happy Famous Artists can be found below in the "original" section of this article.

The two videos below by Gair Dunlop give us a look at both the exhibition and the interior of the Futuro.


Futuro House, Rotterdam from Gair Dunlop on Vimeo.


Futuro House Interior; Relax from Gair Dunlop on Vimeo.

In 2012 the Futuro featured in another exhibition in Rotterdam, this time the exhibition "Ballads" by Sarkis Zabunyan. The two photos below are by Ernst Moritz and are featured in a Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen press release.

Futuro #000 - Ballads - Moritz1

Futuro #000 - Ballads - Moritz2

A Google search for images of "Ballads" will return many other images. The three below are ones I particularly like; they are displayed with the permission of the photographers. From top to bottom they are:


Futuro #000 - Ballads - Juul Barnard

Futuro #000 - Ballads - Jeroen Kolkman 1

Futuro #000 - Ballads - Jeroen Kolkman 2

There are also quite a few videos out there of the "Ballads" exhibition though they generally only show the Futuro is passing. A couple are shown below but a Google Search will return more. The first is by Jos Burger [Futuro at around 0:07] and the second is by anykoen [Futuro at around 1:14].







Original Images & Video 091011

The original Futuro prototype, Futuro #000, was the central feature of the 2011 exhibition "Futuro - Constructing Utopia" at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The video below is narrated by the exhibitions curator Curator Jonieke van Es and includes great footage of the Futuro along with a historical commentary.



The wonderful set of photos shown below show the restored prototype at the "Futuro - Constructing Utopia" exhibition. The photos, shot 052811, are by Happy Famous Artists and are displayed here under CC 2.0.

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Exterior 1

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Exterior 2

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Exterior 3

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Exterior 4

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Exterior 4

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Interior 1

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Interior 2

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Interior 3

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Interior 4

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Interior 5

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Interior 6

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Interior 7

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Interior 8

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Interior 9

Futuro Prototype - Restored & On Exhibit Interior 11
 
Update 032517

Back in 2014 the very cool looking "Art Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen" was projected for completion sometime in 2017. According to a 032017 news article on the Chartered Institute Of Building Global Constrution Review website work has just recently begun on the project. Currently the building is projected to "top out" in 2018 and open to the public in 2019. This Futuro will have a new home on the roof of this building.



Update 031514

It seems this Futuro is destined to get a new home. Rotterdam based architecture and urban design practice MVRDV has been contracted by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the De Verre Bergen Foundation and the City of Rotterdam to construct the Collection Building which is described on the MVRDV website as being a:

"15.000m2 art depot with restoration facilities, exhibition spaces, offices, logistics, bar, restaurant, sculpture garden and private collectors facilities."

Planned for completion in 2017 the roof will feature:

"a restaurant, sculpture garden and exhibition space ... and will be the new home for the Futuro, the ufo-shaped house of Finish architect Matti Suuronen."

The three images at left, displayed courtesy of MVRDV, show CAD impressions of the building itself [which looks very cool], the rooftop featuring the Futuro and a plan view which also includes a representation of the Futuro. Going to be interesting at some point to follow the relocation of the Futuro to the rooftop - presumably that will be achieved either by means of the construction cranes which will no doubt be on the site or by helicopter but either way I imagine the process will be interesting.

In the meantime the Futuro is listed as being "in storage" according to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen website.



Original Information 091011

The long and intriguing history of the Futuro House all began with this Futuro, #000. In 1965 Dr. Jaakko Hiidenkari asked Matti Suuronen, with whom he attended school, to design a ski-cabin. Much of the early history of the Futuro is documented in detail in the book "Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday" edited by Marko Home and Mika Taanila. In the book we learn that the ski cabin was to be:

"quick to heat and easy to construct in rough terrain."

A construction contract was ultimately awarded to Polykem Ltd and in March 1968 the first Futuro was revealed to the press by Polykem at their Hiekkaharju, Finland plant. The Futuro, though it had not yet been given that name, was then moved to a ski slope on the property of Jaakko Hiidenkari in Turenki. It was not until unit #002 [now located in Matsalu, Estonia, appeared at the Finnexpo Fair in London, England in October 1968 that the Futuro actually became the Futuro.

In the mid 1970's Futuro #000 was moved from Hiidenkari's property in Turenki to Matti Suuronen's holiday home in Keitele. It remained there for several years before being put into storage on the Metsänkylä estate near Hämeenlinna.

The prototype Futuro eventually ended up in the collection of the Utrecht Centraal Museum in the Netherlands. This might very well not have come about had it not been for the emergence of the Futuro as an art object as well as an architectural icon in the early 1990's; a process largely catalyzed by the use of Futuro #000 by Jussi Kivi [Finnish Wikipedia page | Google translation to English here] as the focal point of an installation titled "The Eagle Has Landed - Unidentified Flying Object - An Exhibition About UFOs" at the RADAR exhibition in Kotka, Finland [062890-090290] and perhaps cemented by the use of the same Futuro as part of the Skop exhibition at the Wiener Secession that ran from 051096 through 070796 in Vienna, Austria.

The Skop exhibition was the work of German artist Carsten Höller who had also been an exhibitor at RADAR and it is thought that his use of the Futuro for Skop was at least in part due to the favorable impression #000 made on him at RADAR.

Holler's exhibition travelled to other cities but the Futuro remained on storage in Vienna. There later followed a request from the Centraal Museum to the Weiner Secession for loan of the Futuro to be a part of an exhibition featuring 1960's Finnish design. Ultimately instead of a loan the Futuro was transferred to the Centraal Museum and became a part of that institutions collection.

The Futuro was first exhibited by the Centraal Museum between 053197 and 070697 as a part of the planned exhibition of Finnish design of the 1960's. Over the next several years Futuro #000 appeared as a part of various exhibitions and served sundry other roles including:

  • Being displayed 013198-042698 as a part of the "68 - Design & Popular Culture Between Consumerism & Conflict" exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, Germany [See Catalogue here]
  • Being used as office space Aug 1998 to July 1999. During this period #000 was located in a courtyard at the Centraal Museum. Among other uses during this period it served as office space for staff associated with the "Panorama 2000" exhibition [060599-100399] in Utrecht
  • Being displayed 092100-011401 as a part "Vision & Reality - Conceptions Of The 20th Century", an exhibition at the Louisiana Museum Of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark [Catalog]
  • Being displayed as a part of the first major exhibition [092801-010702] at the SKOR Foundation For Art & Public Domain in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Being displayed as a feature of the Ideal Living exhibition at the Centraal Museum at the end of 2003. Additional information can be found here [Dutch | Google translation to English here]

The prototype Futuro was eventually acquired by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands. A press release by the museum dated 051711 announces the acquisition. The press release indicates that the Futuro had been the focus of a two year long restoration process but does not indicate the exact timing of the transfer from the Centraal Museum.

The restoration project was conducted with the help of Poly Products. On the company website we read that:

"On Saturday 28 May the Futuro, which was restored by Poly Products, was presented as a new addition to the collection of the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam."

Conservator of modern and contemporary art Lydia Beerkens confirms the involvement of Poly Products in an abstract that can be found online here. The abstract gives us a look into the intricacies of the restoration project. We also learn that as a result of the "prototype" status of #000 the museum changed their plans from outdoor placement and regular loans to finding a semi permanent space and indoor exhibition only.

A Huffington Post article "Icon of 1960s Design: Matti Suuronen's Futuro House" dated 071711 suggests that the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen acquired the Futuro in 2007. However, we know that it was still physically located at the Centraal Museum at least towards late 2008 [see the photos by Klaas5 at left showing #000 at the Centraal Museum 111608].

Of course that does not preclude the transfer of ownership taking place in 2007; it may just have been that the physical move took place later. The same article is included in issue #18 of VernissageTV Magazine along with some excellent photos; the article is on pages 61-73. The magazine is accessible online here or you can download a pdf file here.

The Most Complete Map Of Futuro Locations AnywhereIncluded among the photographs in the Magazine is the interesting photo at right that shows an identification plate that records "oy Polykem ab" as the manufacturer's name.

The first use of Futuro #000 by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen was as the main feature of "Futuro - Constructing Utopia", an exhibition that ran in the museum's Bodon gallery from 052111 to 100911. As with most major exhibitions there was interest in the press, in this case as far away as the USA where the New York Times covered the exhibition in an 081411 article titled "A Mobile Utopian House Is Star of a Rotterdam Design Exhibition".

In 2012 the Futuro featured in another exhibition in Rotterdam, this time the exhibition "Ballads" by Sarkis Zabunyan. A Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen press release announced that "Ballads" would run from 060212 to 093012 at Submarine Wharf in Rotterdam's docklands. The press release introduces the exhibition by telling us:

"The Submarine Wharf in Rotterdam's docklands is currently undergoing a true transformation. The construction of the various monumental sculptures that make up Sarkis' installation "Ballads", commissioned by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Port of Rotterdam, is well under way. They include an 18-metre bell tower and a 16-meter lampshade in which a spotlight rises and falls to the rhythm of the artist's breathing."

and goes on to tell us about the Futuro's role in the exhibition:

"The Futuro, a futuristic holiday home, has come to land in the Submarine Wharf, forming an auditorium for Sarkis' videos about water: experiments in form and color."

Perhaps the most unique feature of "Ballads" was that visitors to the exhibition actually rode bicycles around the exhibits.

A second museum press release provides some additional details along with some nice photos of the exhibition that ended its run 093012. The Futuro remains in the collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and I await with interest it's next public appearance.


Latest Confirmed Date

Global Constrution Review web article dated 032017.

Sources & Reference

In Print - Books & Magazines

Got new, updated or corrected information or an image I could use?

I am always looking for additional information, history, details, images, videos; just about anything Futuro I guess - if you would like to contribute please use the Contact Form or email me directly.

As far as images go I am particularly interested in those that are either significantly better than the ones already on this page or show a different aspect or detail. If you own an image meeting one or both of those criteria I would love to be able to use it on this page but I will simply provide a link if that is your preference. Where permission is granted to use an image on the page appropriate attribution will be provided by means of a link to the original image, a link to a website of your choosing or both.
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