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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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  • Photograph By Sarah Buehler 101213
  • Photograph By josiexx 071413
  • Photograph By Kristian Mollenborg 092408
  • Photograph By ferret111 091110
  • Photograph By Achim Breiling 061012
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TheFuturoHouse.com in the press and on loan.
Genesis Of An Architectural Icon
How did it all get started?
Concept, Design, Manufacturing & Marketing
How did it all come about?
How Did They Get To Where They Were Going?
Just how do you transport a Futuro House?
Where Are They Now [Or Where Were They]?
The most complete & up to date list on the web.
Where Are They Now Mapped Out?
Google Map showing the current locations of known Futuros.
Bits & Pieces
"Futuro Stuff" that does not fit anywhere else.
A Different Perspective
A photo gallery of unusual "Futuro Shots".
Collector's Corner
My personal collection of "Things Futuro".
The Charles Cleworth Futuro House Archive
Historical documents from the Futuro Corporation Of Colorado.
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Smaller historical archives and collections.
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CAN YOU?

Help Keep This Website Current & Accurate
If you have any information or photographs related to the Futuro that you can share please contact me using the Contact Form.
Help Eliminate Broken Links
This website contains many external links and references and over time some of these will almost certainly "break". If you find anything "broken" please let me know using the Contact Form.
Help An Obsessed Collector Spend More Of His "Hard Earned"
If you have or know of any books, magazines, photographs or other Futuro related items that are for sale please let me know using the Contact Form. I will pay top prices for all things Futuro.
Help Translate Non English Documents
TranslateI have many books, magazines etc. in my Collection and a fair number are in languages other than English; these may contain new information about one or more Futuros but without translated text that information cannot be added here. If you are able to translate something I can provide high res files for that purpose. Look for the icon on the Collection page; it can be used to send me an email regarding translation of a particular book or document.
A NOTE ON MY USE OF IMAGES

All images used on these pages are attributed by means of a name and a link to the original image or article containing the image. Where necessary permission to display the image has either already been given or there has not yet been a response to a request for permission that was made at the time the image was added.

I used to wait until I got a response to requests before publishing but in 100% of requests made since I started researching the Futuro House around 24 months ago I have always been given permission to use images.

Therefore going forward I intend to request permission as I always have but publish images with appropriate attribution at the time so I do not subsequently have to go back and edit pages to add them.
  • If you find an image you own used on one of my pages that you would like removed please let me know and I will do so immediately.
  • If you would like the attribution used for one of your images altered please let me know and I will make the appropriate edits immediately.
  • Please note that this website is the new home of The Futuro House Project. Where permission was granted to display images on that original site I have assumed the permission holds true for this new permanent home on its own domain. Please let me know if you own an image and do not wish it to be used on this new site let me know.
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<< The Charles Cleworth Futuro House Archive | Resources >>

OTHER ARCHIVES & COLLECTIONS | UPDATED 100415

My own personal collection of "Thing's Futuro" includes memorabilia, photos and other items from the late 60's and early 70's and I also have an extensive collection of "period" documents and other items in The Charles Cleworth Futuro House Archive. This page documents smaller archives dating from the days when Futuro was being manufactured be they physical and in my collection or digital only.



The Bank Of New Zealand Collection | Photos & Documents Via Nick McQuoid [Digital]
The Colquhoun Archive | A Small Collection Of Photographs & Other Items [Digital] ***
The De Martini Collection | An Interesting Collection Of Drawings & Photos [Physical]

    *** Latest Update/Addition

THE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND COLLECTION | VIA NICK MCQUOID [DIGITAL]

In 1974 the Bank Of New Zealand used two Futuros as bank branches at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games which ran from 012474 through 020274. The Futuros were located at the games main venue, Queen Elizabeth II Park in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Back in April 2014 Nick McQuoid [owner of three Futuros, two in Rangiora currently in the process of restoration and one disassembled and in storage in Invercargill] received some interesting photos and documents from the Bank Of New Zealand which he posted to Facebook here [Nick; as always thanks for sharing].

The two photos below show one of the Futuros used by the Bank Of New Zealand.

Bank Of New Zealand Collection Via Nick McQuid 1

Bank Of New Zealand Collection Via Nick McQuid 2

Bank Of New Zealand Collection Via Nick McQuid 3Once the games were over the Futuros were put up for sale. The document at left invites tenders for the two Futuros; one Golden Yellow [as seen in the photos] and the other Kentucky Blue.

The document was issued by Futuro Homes (NZ) Limited and not by the Bank Of New Zealand. Purely conjecture but it to me seems to me very likely that the units were loaned to, rather than purchased by, the Bank Of New Zealand. Given the high profile event at which they were located [and the short duration of that event] this would surely have been seen as a great marketing opportunity.

The remaining documents include a pricing sheet, a fact sheet and a list of general specifications. Finally there is a marketing brochure which, while having different text and being issued by a different company [the Futuro Corporation Pty. Ltd.], is essentially the same brochure as one that is included in the Brett Colquhoun Archive.

Bank Of New Zealand Collection Via Nick McQuid 4  Bank Of New Zealand Collection Via Nick McQuid 5

Bank Of New Zealand Collection Via Nick McQuid 6  Bank Of New Zealand Collection Via Nick McQuid 7

Bank Of New Zealand Collection Via Nick McQuid 8

Bank Of New Zealand Collection Via Nick McQuid 8

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THE COLQUHOUN ARCHIVE [DIGITAL]

Update 100415

Futuro - Doncaster Shoppingtown, Doncaster, VIC, Australia - Early 1970's - Photo From Brett ColquhounBrett recently sent me the photo to the left [it can also be found on Instagram].

Brett tells me this photo was taken in the early 70's at Doncaster Shoppingtown [now Westfield Doncaster] in Doncaster, a Melboure, Victoria suburb some 15km or so east of Melbourne's Central Business District.

Prefab Structure - Doncaster Shopppingtown, Doncaster, VIC, Australia - Early 1970's - Photo From Brett ColquhounGiven the fact the unit was located at a large shopping center [and that there was at least one other portable housing unit on display - see the photo at right] this was likely a temporary exhibition or marketing event rather than the location of a Futuro that someone had purchased and located on their property.

That said it is clearly a site at which a Futuro was located even if only for a short time and the subsequent fate of that Futuro is currently unknown so in the strictest sense it fits the bill as a "lost location" and as such I have also added this Futuro to the "Lost Souls" page.

Futuro - Unknown Location In USA - Early 1970's - Photo From Brett ColquhounBrett also sent me the photo at left which he tells me was shot by his father in the early 70's while on a trip to the USA.

My first reaction to this was that it was likely a photo of the first USA manufactured Futuro when it was on display at Philadelphia Airport; not entirely sure why but for some reason that is what it reminded me of. However having looked a little further at photos of Philadelphia Airport [one example can be found here] I no longer consider this a possibility for several reasons:
  • Philadelphia was a dark blue color and while this is a black and white photo the color seems to me to be too light to match.
  • The Futuro displayed at Philadelphia Airport was mounted on the European style of support ring while US Futuros generally have the support struts passing through the outer sections and mounted to the internal frame. This photo is small and even blown up it is hard to tell but it looks to me like this has the standard USA support structure.
  • I wondered if the road like features in the background of the photograph might be airport taxi-ways. Looking at the blown up version of the photo these almost look like they may be water.
I have amassed several thousand Futuro photographs and I have a somewhat aging and ailing memory so currently I cannot identify this Futuro and so it is also being added to the "Unknown Locations" section of this site. If anyone is able to identify this location please let me know either by using my Contact Form or by direct email.



Original Information 020715

Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun Brochure 1A little while ago Ting-Na Wang pointed me to some interesting photos posted on Instagram by Brett Colquhoun. I contacted Brett and he was kind enough to share a little information and some additional photographs.

Brett's father was heavily involved with Futuro "back in the day" and Brett tells me that his:

"... father had the Australian license for Futuro And Venturo in the early 70's and then I think sold it to someone in New Zealand."

During the time he was involved with Futuro Brett's father accumulated several interesting photos and other items and it is those that Brett shared. Among the items was this Futuro House Brochure that I do not recall seeing before [though as those of you who visit these pages with any regularity know my memory is a little suspect]. The brochure was from a company [or at least a company and location combination] I had not come across before [with the requisite nod to my aforementioned memory]; Futuro Corporation Pty. Ltd, Albury, NSW.

Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun Brochure 2

Futuro Article - Sydney Morning Herald - 040972A Google search for the company brought up just a few results one of which was a Sydney Morning Herald article [at left] from 040972 [accessible on Google here].

The article briefly mentions Futuro and it includes a statement to the effect that the Futuro Corporation would be building a house in an Albury suburb.

I have never seen a photograph of a Futuro House located in Albury [and I am not aware of any documentation that proves the house was ever constructed]. That said the photo below, included in those that Brett sent me, is of a Futuro House in a location unknown to me and it is at least possible that it shows the one referred to in the article.

Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun Unknown Location

Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun With Compliments CardAlso included among the items Brett sent me was the photo at left of a "Compliments Card" also from the Futuro Corporation Pty. Ltd. The address is again Albury, NSW though the street address, 520 Swift Street, is different from that in the brochure [the brochure lists 545 Dean Street].

Based on the street address seen on the "Compliments Card" and one of the other Google search results it seems that the Futuro name lives on decades after manufacturing of the Futuro House ended. The search result is a listing for a company at the 520 Swift Street address; that company is Futuro Financial Services [though oddly the website listed points to a company called DLG Aluminium & Glazing at a different address in Albury].

Also included in the photos Brett sent were the two below. The exterior photo is clearly a shot of the "Willeton Futuro" at its original location [that Futuro is now disassembled in a back yard in High Wycombe, Perth, Australia]. The interior shot though not specifically identified as such, is most likely a shot of the interior of the "Willeton Futuro".

Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun Willeton 1  Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun Willeton 2

Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun Hirvensalmi 1Other photos from Brett include the photo at left of Futuro #001 during its time in Hirvensalmi; Futuro #001 is now of course fully restored and part of the collection of the WeeGee Exhibition Center in Espoo, Finland.

Brett's collection also includes the four photos below. Hirvensalmi was again featured in one of these [top left] and to the right of that is a photo of Futuro #000 during the time it was located in Turenki.

These two well-known photos have featured in various mediums including appearing on a pair of postcards sold as souvenirs by the Museum Of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki, Finland [though the Hirvensalmi photo is rotated 180° compared to the postcard].

The bottom two photos show Futuro #002 while located on Lake Lahnajärvi [at left] and a Futuro located at the Polykem plant.

Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun Hirvensalmi 2  Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun Turenki

Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun Lahnajarvi  Futuro House - Brett Colquhoun Polykem Plant

The final two photos are an interior shot of a Futuro and a photo showing the sections of a disassembled Futuro; could be a unit disassembled for relocation though I think it is more likely it is a photo taken at the time of manufacture. The location of these two shots is not known. Both of these photos also show Brett's father.

Futuro House - Brett - Interior Shot  Futuro House - Brett - Unassembled Futuro Sections

A big thanks to Brett for sharing these items and allowing me to include them here.

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THE DE MARTINI COLLECTION [PHYSICAL]

Alfred E. De Martini [1916-2005] was a well known graphic artist, entrepreneur and civic activist. The De Martini Graphic Design Collection gathers together many examples of De Martini's work. TheFuturoHouse.com recently acquired Volume E/F of the collection and this includes several Futuro related items. At some point I will likely remove and preserve the Futuro items and attempt to reunite the volume with the remainder of the collection but for now it will remain a part of the collections of TheFuturoHouse.com.

It is unclear whether the collection was created and maintained by De Martini himself though I tend to think it was put together later. As far as the Futuro section is concerned I have no information as to whether De Martini was actually contracted to do any Futuro design related work or if his concept drawings and apparent interest in the Futuro House were something he worked on himself, perhaps with a plan to later offer that work to someone involved with Futuro. If he was retained to do any work you would have to assume that it would have been for the Futuro Corporation Of Philadelphia.

Di Martini Collection - Spine  Di Martini Collection - Outer Cover  Di Martini Collection - Header Page

Di Martini Collection - Color Drawings 1The first three pages of Futuro related material contain various color drawings depicting ideas and designs for the interior of a Futuro. The first of these pages is titled "Conceptual Studies For Futuro Interior".

The conceptual design appears to devote a one quarter section of the Futuro to an enclosed bedroom and bathroom with the remainder of the unit being "open plan". There appear to be a couple of alternatives depicted for the space above the bedroom and bathroom; in several drawings it appears that the roof of this section would be lowered with storage space above while in the last drawing the bedroom and bathroom are denoted as having an "open ceiling".

Di Martini Collection - Color Drawings 2  Di Martini Collection - Color Drawings 3

The next couple of pages of the volume contain a number of rudimentary conceptual drawings [or perhaps they would be more accurately termed sketches].

The first of these is a single page with three sketches of different exterior configurations; they appear to depict a "standard" support structure and then two views of a pair of Futuros mounted on a higher structure featuring a "walkway" between the two units and access to them being a single set of steps to the central walkway.

Di Martini Collection - Black & White Drawings 1The second page contains a set of seven sketches that appear to depict various different internal configurations that might be considered for a Futuro. Among others those configurations include different numbers of bedrooms, centrally located kitchens and kitchens located along the external wall of the unit and configurations where most of the interior of the unit is "open plan" along with some where most of the interior is broken into various "enclosed" spaces.

Though none of the drawings are annotated or identified in any way [meaning the identity of the artist is "technically" unknown] it does seem reasonable to assume the drawings were by De Martini.

Di Martini Collection - Black & White Drawings 2  Di Martini Collection - Black & White Drawings 2a

Di Martini Collection - Black & White Drawings 2b  Di Martini Collection - Black & White Drawings 2c

Di Martini Collection - Black & White Drawings 2d  Di Martini Collection - Black & White Drawings 2e

Di Martini Collection - Black & White Drawings 2f  Di Martini Collection - Black & White Drawings 2g

The next group of pages contains a seemingly random collection of items. There are three examples of the same 9" by 4" color tri-fold brochure on three sequential pages. The Charles Cleworth Futuro House Archive also contains an example of this brochure and photos of the front, back and inside can be found here.

In addition to the brochure the first of these pages contains a plan and section of a Futuro House; this actually appears to be a larger example of the same plan and section that can be seen on the back of the tri-fold brochure.

Di Martini Collection - Brochures & Misc 1On the next page, in addition to the brochure, we find a newspaper clipping dating from 053069. The publication is not identified but it is almost certainly a Philadelphia newspaper; the article talks about the Futuro making its US debut the following Tuesday at 17th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway and as we know Futuro started out its US journey in Philadelphia.

Finally in this section we have a magazine article. The article, titled "A Lunar Capsule For Earthbound Fun", is from the September 1969 issue of American Home magazine. I have a copy of this magazine in my collection of "Things Futuro" and more details, along with photos, can be found here.

Di Martini Collection - Brochures & Misc 2  Di Martini Collection - Brochures & Misc 3

The final "Futuro" pages in the volume contain a series of seven approx. 10" by 8" photographs. There are two black and white photos and five color ones. These photographs are clearly not photographs that were taken by De Martini; some are iconic photographs that have been published multiple times and in multiple media while another is of Hirvensalmi and it is extremely unlikely that De Martine would have shot all of these photographs.

Di Martini Collection - Black & White Photos 1  Di Martini Collection - Color Photos 1

The two black and white photographs are interior shots of a Futuro; one of the shots [cropped] is used in the brochure referenced above and included in this collection.

Di Martini Collection - Black & White Photos 2  Di Martini Collection - Black & White Photos 3

The color photographs include color prints of the two black and white photographs seen above, a photograph depicting the often seen "mock up" of multiple Futuros on a rocky mountain slope, a photograph of Hirvensalmi [also used in the brochure referenced earlier] and a print of an iconic and often used photograph of the first US Futuro on display at Philadelphia airport under a crescent moon.

Di Martini Collection - Color Photos 2  Di Martini Collection - Color Photos 3

Di Martini Collection - Color Photos 4  Di Martini Collection - Color Photos 5

Di Martini Collection - Color Photos 6

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