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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 090217 | ADDED 091311 | BERLIN, GERMANY | HOME | LOCATIONS - LIST - PREVIOUS - NEXT
Nalepastraße 18-50, 12459, Berlin, Germany | 52°28'40.59"N 13°29'54.33"E
Featured Image By Wikipedia | CC 3.0 | Image Date 080107
 
Google Maps | Satellite Imagery Date 030715
Futuro, Berlin, Germany  
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Additional Videos, Images & Maps
 
Notes, History & Resources
Update 070817

I came across this photo a few days ago; it was presumably taken using some kind of filter [though I suppose it could also have been edited "after the fact"] and the resulting photo has a very surreal look. The photo is by Fix-Fokus and the original can be found on Flickr here.

Futuro House


Update 040817

I recently added this postcard to my collection of "Things Futuro". The postcard, which features the Berlin Futuro, is undated and unused.

Berlin Futuro Postcard Front

Berlin Futuro Postcard Back



Update 032517

Two videos that can be found on filmothek.bundesarchiv.de [at 6:55] and digit.wdr.de [at 11:28]; include footage of two Futuros [one of which was this Futuro] displayed by pharmaceutical giant Bayer at the 1969 Hanover Fair. One of the videos and a still from each are below.



Bayer Futuros - Hanover Fair 1969 - Video Still - filmothek.bundesarchiv.de

Bayer Futuros - Hanover Fair 1969 - Video Still - digit.wdr.de



Update 111216

This photo, by gotam, appeared on Instagram 110616. The interesting thing about the photo for me was that though [with hindsight] I should have recognized it as this Futuro [in particular the height of the support legs, the entrance steps structure and the color and apparent condition should have given it away] for a little while I was thinking this was a "new" location. However gotam did subsequently confirm this as being a photo of the Berlin Futuro taken from the "back".

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - gotam On Instagram - 110616



Update 060416

Yves Buysse has made many contributions to these pages. This time around Yves shared the photos below which were taken 051416 during a visit to Berlin along with a few links to other items. Thanks Yves!

As with other photos these illustrate the exceptional condition of this Futuro; owner Cora continues to do a superb job of maintaining her Futuro.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Photo By Yves Buysse - Taken 051416 - 1

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Photo By Yves Buysse - Taken 051416 - 2

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Photo By Yves Buysse - Taken 051416 - 3  Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Photo By Yves Buysse - Taken 051416 - 4

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Photo By Yves Buysse - Taken 051416 - 5

These two videos shot at Spreepark both include brief glimpses of the Futuro during its time at the park. In the first video the Futuro appears at around 7:31 and 8:50 and in the second at around 2:28 and 8:08. The first video was shot 102992 and the second 050192.





The following photos are all from owner Cora Geißler's Facebook page "Futuro Haus"; hope you do not mind me sharing them here Cora!

These first two photos date from "way back" with the photo on the left showing the Futuro as it looked in 1968 and the photo on the right [not sure about the date on that one] giving us a glimpse of the interior of the Futuro complete with DJ from the days when the Futuro served as base for the park's radio broadcasts.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Spreepark 1968 - Cora Facebook Timeline  Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Spreepark - Interior With DJ - Cora Facebook Timeline

This great photo shows Futuro 13 on a barge on the Spree making its way to its current location.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Futuro 13 On A Barge - Cora Facebook Timeline

The photos below all date from 2013 and show restoration work being undertaken. Cora posted the first three photos to Facebook 022513 and the second three on 080113; not sure if they all date from the same "project".

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Restoration Photos - Cora Facebook Timeline Posted 022513 - 1

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Restoration Photos - Cora Facebook Timeline Posted 022513 - 2  Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Restoration Photos - Cora Facebook Timeline Posted 022513 - 3

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Restoration Photos - Cora Facebook Timeline Posted 080113 - 1

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Restoration Photos - Cora Facebook Timeline Posted 080113 - 2  Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Restoration Photos - Cora Facebook Timeline Posted 080113 - 3

Finally I was interested to see Futuro 13 appear on Yelp recently courtesy of Dietmar K.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Yelp - Dietmar K. - 1  Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Yelp - Dietmar K. - 2



Update 100415

The photo below was taken by Elke Hanisch on 092715 [Elke's original post can be found here]. The photo is particularly interesting in that it clearly shows a modified window that can be [and is] opened. I do not recall noticing this feature in previous photos [though my memory is not the most reliable so there may very well be such photos that I simply do not recall].

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Photo By elke_hanisch Shot 092715



Update 031514

This week I added a copy of the 051203 issue [46/03] of German architecture publication Bauwelt to my collection. The magazine contains a four page article on the Futuro House and in particular the Berlin Futuro. The magazine is in German so I cannot read it [one more on the list of things to get translated at some point] but among other photos and diagrams it contains the two photographs below [by Torsten Seidel] which capture the awesome interior of this Futuro as it was at the time.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Bauwelt Issue 46/03 051203

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Bauwelt Issue 46/03 051203

I was sent the photo below this week - thanks Yves - we did not know which Futuro it was. In a subsequent email Yves pointed out similarities between the height of construction and the trees seen in the photo and in some of the photos of the Futuro at Spreepark and suggested this was perhaps the Berlin Futuro at Spreepark [looking at the apparent age of the photo likely at a time around its arrival at the site].

I knew I had seen the photo before but could not place it and so I began a search through the hundreds of links I have bookmarked since I became the "Futuro Nerd" that I am; I eventually found it on einestages.spiegel.de accompanying an article on the Berlin Futuro. This strongly suggests this is indeed an early photo of the Berlin Futuro.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany? Old Photo From einestages.spiegel.de



Update 010414

Sarah Beddington is a British artist and filmmaker; her film "Futuro 13" is an "art film" which features Futuro 13. An excerpt from the file is embedded below; it can be accessed on Vimeo here.

While I have to confess I am not a particularly "arty" individual I did enjoy this excerpt which, given the accompanying sound track, is strangely haunting; in particular I find the section showing a barge passing by on the Spree as seen from inside the Futuro interesting. Footage starting around the 4 minute mark featuring the Futuro being hoisted by crane for its move from one location on the bank of the Spree to a second location is also rather cool. A screen capture from this section which makes an excellent still shot is below the video.



Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Still From Sarah Beddingtons Futuro 13



Update 111613

These photographs were taken by Achim Breiling around 111313.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Achin Breiling 111313 1

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Achin Breiling 111313 2

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Achin Breiling 111313 3

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Achin Breiling 111313 4

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Achin Breiling 111313 5

This was the closest Achim was able to get to the Futuro without entering private property.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Achin Breiling 111313 6



Update 081813

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Spreepark - bestuff.comAchim Breiling sent me a link to the third of the four photos below that show the Berlin Futuro during its time at Spreepark. That prompted me to look for more old photos. You would think that with the Futuro being at a family entertainment park there would be lots of photos on the web - "family day trips" usually generate a lot of photos - the photos here are among the surprisingly few I was able to find.

The photo shown to the left is from bestuff.com - the page is annotated as "created by" nemoflow but I am not sure if this means the photo was taken by nemoflow or uploaded by nemoflow. If you are the owner of this photo please contact me so I can provide appropriate attribution.

The four photos below are [from top to bottom]:
  • By Joachim Spremberg taken 033174. The image is available on Wikipedia [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-N0331-0028 / Spremberg, Joachim / CC-BY-SA]. The original image is held by the German Federal Archives. The photos original caption [Google translation from the original German] was:

    "ADN-ZB Spremberg 31.03.1974 Berlin: Sunday fun in Berlin Cultural Park: Round and round the world is ready to hit the bobsled track of the Culture Park in Plänterwald the East German capital Berlin. The warm spring weather attracted thousands of onlookers and "active" in the popular entertainment venue."

  • From the website of Augustina Woodgate. Photographer and date unknown.

  • From the website berliner-spreepark.de and taken by Manuela Baier; date unknown. The photograph is captioned [Google translation from the original German]:

    "Before there was the Spider, was the UFO, which was encircled by a small children train at this point."

  • From einestages.spiegel.de date unknown. The photograph is captioned [Google translation from the original German]:

    "Futuro house at the amusement park: The 1969 20th Anniversary of the GDR, East Berlin's cultural park opened, the Futuro house served there as a park radio studio, was sonicated from which the entire park with music."

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Spreepark - Wikipedia

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Spreepark - Augustina Woodgate

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Spreepark - Berliner-Spreepak.de

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Spreepark - einestages.spiegel.de



Update 081713

The Berlin Futuro forms part of the "backdrop" for a German TV series for children "Terra Max". The two photos below, from nalepastrasse.de, show the Futuro as seen in the TV show as do the two videos below the photos.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Terra Max 1

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Terra Max 2







Update 081112

manuela.martin posted a really awesome set of four black and whites of the Berlin Futuro on Flickr. The images were taken 062412 [which becomes the confirmed date for this Futuro]. These images are displayed here with Manuela's permission. Thank you Manuela.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Manuela 1

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Manuela 2

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Manuela 3

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Manuela 4



Update 072212

Screen Capture from Bing Maps 072212 showing Futuro 013 on the new site south of the previous location.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Bing 072412



Original Images 091311



A short video taken from a boat on the Spree River.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Alt 1

I don't often use Bing Maps but on this occaision since there was no Street View in Google Maps I took a look. There was actually a really nice "Bird's Eye" view there so I grabbed this screen shot. If you would like to check out the interactive map you can access it here.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Alt 2

Source: Schockwellenreiter | CC 2.0

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Alt 3

Source: mompl | CC 2.0

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Alt 4

Source: mompl | CC 2.0

Additional Images:
 
Update 032517

My original information on this Futuro reads:

"After a brief stop at the Hanover Trade Fair of 1968 Futuro #13 was located at Spreepark in Berlin. Originally opened in 1969 and then known as "Kulturpark Plänterwald" the park was the first cultural park in the then German Democratic Republic or, as it was better known to most, East Germany. The intention for the Futuro was that it would serve as the park's radio station - I cannot find anything that indicates whether it did or not."

Based on recent correspondence with Marko Home and some video links Yves Buysse sent me that statement needs to be revised for two reasons: the Hanover Fair reference should be to the Fair of 1969 and Futuro 13 did indeed serve as the "Kulturpark Plänterwald" radio station [see the 040914 update below].

Two videos that can be found on filmothek.bundesarchiv.de [at 6:55] and digit.wdr.de [at 11:28]; include footage of two Futuros displayed by pharmaceutical giant Bayer at the 1969 Hanover Fair [one of the videos can be found at left along with stills from both].

One of the units displayed at the 1969 Fair was Futuro 13 [see the 3/2008 issue of Architektur & Wohnen among other sources] and the second was gifted to Charles Wilp, moved to Düsseldorf and ultimately demolished.

Marko Home tells me that the written, non-published memoirs of the Polykem CEO Ensiö Söderström do indicate that Futuro #13 was transported to the East Berlin amusement park from Finland in 1969. There is however no mention of a "stop" at the Hanover Fair but that does not preclude that being the case and there is enough evidence of that "stop" to convince me that it did occur.



Update 040914

ABC Australia's Radio National program Sounds Like Radio is broadcast Sunday's at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The 040614 edition of the program featured an extended segment on Spreepark.

While the program was largely about the park in general, the owner's family and their troubles with drugs and the law and the demise of the park Cora Geißler, current owner of the Berlin Futuro, was interviewed for the program and there is a two minute section of audio featuring Cora staring at 8:36. Cora talks in general about the Futuro and also reminisces about its time at Spreepark. She recounts how the Futuro was "home" to the DJ who played the music that was piped throughout the park. The Futuro also became the meeting point for lost children and their parents. Cora tells us that at times the DJ could barely keep up with keeping the music going as so many kids "claimed" to be lost so they could be taken to the Futuro and see the inside.

You can access the audio by going to the Sounds Like Radio page. If you are using an older browser or have trouble getting the audio to play you can access an MP3 file here [click to stream the MP3 to whatever player you have configured or right click to get options to save to your local machine].



Update 111613

Achim Breiling who has made many a contribution to these pages recently visited Berlin and this Futuro; a series of photographs he took during his visit are displayed at left.

Achim tells me that the Futuro is situated on the grounds of the ex-GDR Funkhaus Berlin [German - Google translation to English here] and not at Siedlung Wilhelmstrand which is right next the Funkhaus. He goes on to recount how he did in fact first go to Siedlung Wilhelmstrand:

"which is a collection of little gardens and small weekend houses (allotment garden?) and walked near the position of the Futuro, judged from the google satellite view pictures. There was a little road that seemed to pass by the supposed position of the Futuro. The path followed a fence (which I found out separates the Funkhaus area from the allotment) and ended at the river (Spree), at a private boat landing, also locked by a fence and a fence door. Well, then I saw the Futuro, which was some 50 meters on the other side of the Funkhaus fence, behind some trees. That was the nearest one could get to the Futuro from that side. The fence was old and could be moved at one point, and it looked, as if somebody had used that to enter before, but I decided not to enter that way or climb the fence. I rather opted for the official way and walked up to the entrance of the Funkhaus on the other side of the lot in Nalepastraße. Most part of the Funkhaus area looked pretty abandoned, ruined and in bad shape, with partly demolished buildings and overgrown streets."

At the entrance Achim found a doorman who, when asked if it was possible to visit the Futuro, apologized and said that he had been instructed not to let anyone in as the owner was worried about the Futuro being damaged. During the conversation the doorman also mentioned that the Futuro was about to be renovated.

Since he was unable to actually visit the Futuro Achim took a ferry across the river and then walked to a position on the far bank of the river opposite the Futuro from where he was able to take some nice photographs. The Futuro appeared to be in relatively good shape. At the time the Futuro was partially covered; perhaps to get in ready for the winter or maybe in preparation for renovations. During the time Achim was there a man starting working on positioning the cover as seen in one of the photographs.

So at least for the moment it seems the Futuro is somewhat hidden on the grounds of the Funkhaus and is not accessible by the public with no way to get close without permission [or a boat].

As a result of this information from Achim I have revised the address information for the Futuro; it seems the correct address is Nalepastraße 18-50, 12459, Berlin, Germany.

Many thanks for sharing your information and photographs Achim.



Update 081713

The Berlin Futuro has been used as a set in a German TV show. The TV show is "Terra Max", an educational show for children. A little information about the show can be found on the website nalepastrasse.de [German | English translation by Google Translate here]. A couple of photos from the web page are shown at left along with a pair of videos; all of these show the Futuro as seen in the TV show.

Google Translate is a great tool but even with that it is not always easy to accurately interpret websites in languages you do not speak. In this case Achim Breiling, who does speak the language, sent me some information about the show. Achim tells me that:

"(the show) is a kind of history program for children and features a boy whose grandfather has invented a time machine. In each episode they transport some historic person into the present. They ask him questions, show him the future and then we are told many things about this person and (his) time."

Achim goes on to explain that:

"they use (the Berlin) Futuro as the place where the time machine is located. It is the future house (in which) the grandfather, a kind of mad scientist, lives and works."

The Futuro serves as a backdrop for many scenes and the interior has been staged as the "mad scientist's laboratory". Cora Geißler, the Futuro's owner, works on the series as "Requisiteurin" [Property Mistress according to Google Translate] which could help explain how the Futuro ended up with its role in the TV series.



Update 072212

Futuro 013 has been relocated to a position around 1000 feet south of the location I had previously reported. At the time I originally added this page to the site the latest satellite imagery available in Google Earth was dated 050406. Imagery now available in Google Earth dated 123108 now places the Futuro at the new location. The latest imagery in Google earth places the Futuro still on site at the new location as of 082010.

Old Cordinates | 52°28'53.12"N 13°29'50.45"E

New Cordinates | 52°:28'40.59"N 13°29'54.33"E

Moved sometime between 050406 and 123108

This capture from Google Maps shows both locations [Green Arrow old location | White arrow new location].

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Locations Compared

This is a screenshot from Google Maps taken when the Futuro was still on the older site.

Futuro, Berlin, Germany - Old Location



Original Information 091311

After a brief stop at the Hanover Trade Fair of 1968 Futuro #13 was located at Spreepark in Berlin. Originally opened in 1969 and then known as "Kulturpark Plänterwald" the park was the first cultural park in the then German Democratic Republic or, as it was better known to most, East Germany. The intention for the Futuro was that it would serve as the park's radio station - I cannot find anything that indicates whether it did or not. In 1989 the park was updated and a new operating contract was awarded to Spreepark Berlin GmbH in 1991. From 1989 to 2001 the park was known as Spreepark Berlin. In 2001 following financial problems the park became insolvent and shortly after being abandoned it began to fall into a state of disrepair.

The current owner, Cora Geißler, found "#13" in a junkyard at the abandoned site in 2002, purchased it and had it moved to its current location on the banks of the Spree where it is used as a vacation home [I believe - a blog post - in Italian according to Google Translate - described it as a "dacha" which is a Russian word for a second, or vacation, home - seems odd to find an Italian article using a Russian word to describe a German home but it's a funny old world sometimes].

In an article entitled "How I Learned To Love A UFO" Cora describes the discovery of the Futuro this way:

"Discovered I had the enchanted object in a walk through the deserted theme park in the eastern Berlin district of Treptow, in the junkyard of a former amusement park: an entity like a flying saucer of about eight meters in diameter, elliptical in outline and oval windows, in addition to high stilts standing, which also awarded him the impression of a lunar module.

I had discovered something special, that much was clear to me immediately. To rescue the idea of ??the fascinating object from its surroundings sad, since I did not go away. Could you make it into an ice-cream, with ice cream in the most vivid colors imaginable: wild ideas circling in my head? A cafe on the banks of the Spree, hungry for boat trippers on their way to Müggelseedamm? But one thing was quite clear to me: I wanted to save this UFO."

Note: the quote is a Google Translate version from the original German.


The article is well worth a read and not only speaks to Cora's passion for "#13" but also provides some interesting history, details of the move and some information about the restoration. The article ends by indicating that you can email Futuro13@berlin.de to inquire about visiting the fully restored "#13".

It seems that there is at least one group of people who have ambitions pertaining to "#13". In a Huffington Post article Argentinean artist Agustina Woodgate, one of a group attempting to breathe new life into the abandoned park, indicates that a goal of the group is to bring the Futuro back to the park; bring "#13" home if you like. It will be interesting to see if they achieve this given Cora Geißler's seeming passion for the Futuro.

Latest Confirmed Date

Berlin - Latest Confirmation - 082717 - tani_mon_This photograph by tani_mon_ taken 082717.

The original photograph can be seen on Instagram here.


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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