UPDATED 020417 | ADDED 110111 | ESPOO, FINLAND | HOME | LOCATIONS - LIST - PREVIOUS - NEXT
Ahertajantie 5, 02100 Espoo, Finland | 60°10'44.12"N 24°47'39.98"E | Panoramic Image Shot During A Visit To WeeGee 070814 © 2014 TheFuturoHouse.com
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This recent addition to my collection of "Things Futuro" is probably the most unusual and perhaps unique to date. It is a metal photographic printing plate that features an iconic image of this Futuro in the late 1960's. According to the seller the plate came from the old Polykem factory 15 years or so ago. The plate has no identifying marks and is approximately 8¼" x 5¼" in size.
Pentti Sairanen of Mirador Studios is a Finnish VR Tour Photographer who has created a very cool VR Tour of the WeeGee Futuro. The VR Tour can be accessed online on the mirador360.fi website.
The three screenshots are "representative" of the tour but they do not do it justice, you have to check it out. The third screenshot shows an alternate "alien" view which comes complete with video screen and "mood" music.
One point to note; I have a feeling you will need to be using a late version browser for the full experience. I use Chrome where everything worked fine but I also have IE9 installed which I need for some legacy work applications and among other things the video and music was missing in the "alien" version when running it in that browser.
My thanks to Pentti for creating this great tour. I found it to be one of the best reminders I have come across of my own visit to WeeGee back in 2014 and I think it can give a great perspective of the WeeGee Futuro to those who have never actually had the chance to visit.
The YouTube Video below is a commercial for the WeeGee Exhibition Center produced recently by Brink Helsinki. On its Facebook Page the company characterizes itself as a:
"production company specializing in visual storytelling."
The commercial itself is described as being:
"a commercial directed by Alexander Seraidaris for (the) WeeGee exhibition center, where ordinary people try to describe the extraordinary Futuro house designed by Matti Suuronen in the late 60s."
The Futuro at WeeGee opened to the public for the 20105 summer season on May 5th and will be open through 091315. For those who are fortunate enough to be able to visit the center has also added the "Futuro World" exhibition this year which will open 061615 and run through 013115.
"Back in the day" Brett Colquhoun's father was heavily involved with Futuro in New Zealand during which time he acquired several very interesting Futuro photos that Brett has since shared on Instagram and also kindly allowed me to add to this website. They include this photo of Futuro #002 during the time it was located on Lake Lahnajärvi and this photo of a Futuro outside the Polykem plant.
A few days ago Brett also shared the photo below [Brett's original image can be found here]. The photo does not carry any indication as to the location but to me it looks mighty like Hirvensalmi. Brett thanks for sharing; looking forward to what you might come up with next.
On 070814 I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Futuro #001 at the WeeGee Exhibition Center. This Futuro is one of the most photographed but despite the large numbers of photographs out there as a "Futuro Nerd" I have to add my own [and some of my wife's] photographs to the "collective pool."
These first two photographs show the approach to the Exhibition Center and the large mural which is displayed in the entrance lobby. The mural is a 1969 interior shot of the Futuro House that was displayed as a marketing effort in the Stockman Department Store in Helsinki, Finland. The photo features 1968 Miss Finland and Miss Europe Leena Brusiin as a "Futuro Hostess" [this same image is featured on this postcard].
During my visit to WeeGee I was accompanied by Marko Home, Futuro historian and editor of the book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday; how could I not have a snap of Marko and myself?
Each of the Futuros manufactured in Finland had a numbered Polykem plaque affixed to the inside of the entrance steps.
The day I visited WeeGee was a very sunny day and it made for some interesting shadows on some of the exterior shots.
I love this shot by my wife with the high focus on the leaves in the foreground, a slight blur of the Futuro and cool lighting.
The windows on the upper level of the Exhibition Center are covered with netting; makes for an interesting shot.
The interior of the Futuro; compare to photographs of the restored Futuro #000 at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam to get a feel for how "primitive" the original Futuro specs were compared to later more sophisticated specifications.
The kitchen; note the absence of any means of actually cooking.
The photo on the right shows the "bedroom"; note the absence of a bed.
This pair of photos shows on the right the vent on the lower surface of the Futuro for the heating and a/c system and on the left can be seen the control handle to open and close the vent. Heat or cool air was actually passed through conduits under the floor of the Futuro and entered the unit through vents at the rear of the chair/bed units.
The winding, pulley mechanism for raising and lowering the steps was rather rudimentary.
Craig Barnes, owner of "Futuro 22" visited Finland in 2013 on a research trip associated with his restoration project. While he was there he shot footage of the Futuro on display at the WeeGee Exhibition Center. The video below was added to Craig's "Futuro Restoration Diary" a day or two ago and to Youtube on 032814. It provides us with an awesome "virtual visit" to Futuro #001. Thanks for sharing this excellent footage Craig.
The WeeGee Futuro is rapidly becoming the most photographed, perhaps not surprising given its superb restoration and the fact that it is on display to the public. The two pictures below are each a little bit different in their own way and are a couple of favorites of mine.
The first is a very atmospheric black and white shot by Elektrojänis taken 072012 and the second is a very cool shot taken through trees by ConnectIrmeli on 101913. Both are displayed here under CC 2.0
And the great photography in Espoo continues unabated! Marko Saari held a photo shoot at the WeeGee Futuro 070212. The photos feature superb photography by Marko, the Futuro and beautiful model Mona. Two of these great photographs are displayed below with Marko's permission and you can check out the full set here.
In addition a video below was made during the shoot; it provides an interesting insight into the shoot itself and also features some cool footage of the Futuro. You can check out a hi-res version of the video on Vimeo here.
© Marko Saari | From The Photo Set Futuro
© Marko Saari | From The Photo Set Futuro
With this Futuro being on display and open to the public there are many many photographs around the web and I had not intended to add any more but then I saw an awesome set on Flickr by Christophe Brutel taken 090212.
With Christophe's permission some of these are shown below but make sure to follow the link and check out the whole set. There are some cool interior shots and I particularly like the photos taken using the spherical filter [my description - I am sure there is a correct technical name for that type of filter but not being a photographer I have no idea what it is]. The first photo is probably my favorite Futuro photo.
aboturku posted this great video of the WeeGee Futuro which showcases some of the photographs and other items accompanying the exhibit and features great footage of both the exterior and interior of the Futuro.
The set of eight images below shows the Futuro as it goes through the reconstruction and refurbishment process. These pictures are reproduced here with the kind permission of Marko Home, the Producer of the WeeGee Futuro Exhibtion and editor of the definitive Futuro Book "Futuro". You can find the original posting of these images by Marko on the WeeGee Futuro House Facebook Page where you will also find some commentary to go along with the images.
Above images © Marko Home reproduced with permission. Thank you Marko.
Another really cool photo of the Futuro reflected in the windows of the Exhibition Center was taken by Cidoc12 Helsinki on 050812. While similar in many ways to the featured image above this photo is equally impressive and offers a slightly different perspective on the subject. This image is displayed with permission.
Among the many visitors to the exhibition in Espoo has been lwsdm who visited on 061212 and took this marvellous set of photos reproduced here under CC 2.0.
There are some great shots of the interior and I particularly like the featured photo above showing the Futuro as a reflection in the exhibition center windows.
Update 071712 | Now Located In Espoo
Lewis Martin has posted this great photo of the fully restored Futuro [now in Espoo] on Flickr under a Creative Commons 2.0 License - thanks for publishing your work under CC Lewis.
Original Information 110111 | Located In Hirvensalmi At That Time
This image of the Futuro in Hirvensalmi is from the document "Futuro no. 001 : Documentation and evaluation of preservation need" which was written by Anna-Maija Kuitunen as her final thesis for the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. This thesis is freely available online here.
Futuro #001 recently received some well deserved publicity and recognition when it was added to the registry of houses maintained by iconichouses.org. Congratulations to everyone who was involved in the restoration of the Futuro and in its ongoing maintenance.
Futuro #001 is once again open to the public. The 2016 summer season at WeeGee started a few days ago  and will run through 091816. Having visited myself back in 2014 I can tell you that WeeGee is well worth a visit if you have the chance; the Futuro is perfectly restored and the staff are extremely knowledgeable about the history of the Futuro House.
On 070814 I made a visit to Futuro #001 at the WeeGee Exhibition Center. Not only was I fortunate enough to be able to visit the Futuro but I was also able to visit with Marko Home, Futuro historian and editor of the book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday.
Of course no self respecting "Futuro Nerd" would be able to resist documenting such a visit and so the photo at left is of Marko and myself discussing Futuro #001 [yours truly being the "vertically challenged" one].
The restored Futuro #001 at WeeGee is the only Futuro House currently restored to the original specifications. The original protoype #000 , which is now in the collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, has actually been restored to a later specification than the one it was manufactured to.
As originally manufactured Futuro #000 would have had the same specifications as we see in the restored Futuro #001 at WeeGee. The original specifications were somewhat "primitive"; notable examples were that the "bedroom" was initially just a storage area with no bed and the "kitchen" had no hot plates or other means of cooking. The restoration of Futuro #000 was to a later standard that was a little more sophisticated; among the list of changes were the addition of a bed and a pair of hot plates in the kitchen. A comparison of photos of the Futuros at WeeGee and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen clearly illustrate these differences.
At left you can see a selection of the way too many photographs I accumulated while at WeeGee. I am by no means an accomplished photographer and the better shots were probably taken by my wife!
My visit to WeeGee was a wonderful event and I would like to thank Marko Home and Futuro Hostess Jaana Kähkönen who made the visit even more memorable.
For those who have a chance to visit the Futuro will once again be open to the public through the summer starting 051314.
The Futuro is now open to the public again and will be so from 051413 through 090113 [WeeGee Exhibition Center website | Dead - see pdf here].
So, if you were planning on visiting the Futuro at the WeeGee Exhibition Center, I have some bad news for you; as of 091612 the exhibit is no longer open to the public. The good news; Marko Home has confirmed that the Futuro will remain at the center and the plan is to open it to the public again in summer 2013 [thanks for the update Marko].
One of the pages on the World Design Capital | Helsinki 2012 Website discusses the Futuro 2012 Program in Espoo. There are some great photos of the Futuro there taken during transport and reconstruction.
As well as having the Futuro on display to the public through 091612 there will be screenings of Mika Taanila's 1998 film "Futuro - A New Stance for Tomorrow a small exhibition featuring the utopian world of Futuro and speeches by Futuro experts. If you are anywhere close make sure to stop by; I am sure it will be well worth it.
Update 071712 | Now Located In Espoo
Futuro 001 was purchased by the City of Espoo, Finland and it has now been restored and is on display at the WeeGee Exhibition Center. A press release originally dated 041111 can be found here [Dead - see 2012 version pdf here].
The WeeGee website [Dead - see pdf here] indicates that the restored Futuro will be open to the public 050812 through 091612. Running in tandem will be screenings of Mika Taanila's film "Futuro - A New Stance for Tomorrow" along with Group Tours and talks by Futuro experts. Further details can be found on the WeeGee site here [Dead - see pdf here]. Futuro 001 will then stay on site and will be open to the public again in the summer of 2013.
There are some great photographs of the Futuro on the WeeGee Futuro House Facebook Page and in particlular there are some great shots of the Futuro in various stages of construction.
The WeeGee Exposition Center is located at Ahertajantie 5, 02100 Espoo, Finland; I have not added any maps at this time since I can find no imagery recent enough to show the Futuro on site.
The purchase and subsequent restoration of Futuro 001 prompted a 051012 article by Justin McGuirk title "Futuro - the ideal home that wasn't" in the British national daily newspaper The Guardian which can be found here.
Original Information 110111 | Located In Hirvensalmi At That Time
Futuro 001 has been owned by TV celebrity Matti Kuusla since its manufacture. It is worth noting that despite the 001 numbering this was not the first Futuro manufactured - the prototype was numbered 000 and that Futuro has been fully restored and is on display at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Futuro has spent its life on a lakeside property in Hirvensalmi where, mainly because it has never had an electrical supply, it has been only used in a very limited way.
The Futuro is not in the best condition and it was this that prompted Anna-Maija Kuitunen's to write her thesis which was largely about the current condition of Futuro 001 and the process that might be used to restore and preserve it as an iconic piece of Finnish architecture. The thesis "Futuro no. 001 : Documentation and evaluation of preservation need" was written by Kuitunen as her final thesis for the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. This thesis is freely available online here.
Latest Confirmed Date
This photograph by Vainise taken 070516.
The original photograph can be seen on Flickr 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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