The Futuro House was conceived by Matti Suuronen in 1968 as a "portable" ski chalet. It is an iconic piece of architecture and this site is devoted to documenting the history of the Futuro and the current status and whereabouts of the remaining examples.
There is just something about this photo; seems somehow surreal and a little "science fictiony". We like it a lot. The photo was posted to Instagram recently by Chris Wroblewski (aka @chris_robleski). The original post can be found on Instagram here.
@kimmie909798 has now visited this Futuro several times and has sent us photos updating its refurbishment status each time; thanks Kimmie.
These photos were taken 102921. The exterior finish looks like it may be complete and the entry way is now blocked. The one shot through the window does not really show us what, if anything, has been done in the interior of the unit.
This time around Kimmie was also able to grab a quick word with the owner. She tells us that
"he said it probably won't be ready until spring. His plan is to build 3 more slightly smaller Futuros so people can spend the night in them. He is working on getting windows for the Futuro now. The top has been closed with a plastic bubble."
It will be interesting to see what is eventually constructed and what the whole installation looks like when it is complete.
Around a month ago @kimmie909798 sent us a photo that showed that work on a refurbishment of this Futuro was underway.
This past week we received the photos below, also from @kimmie909798, that show further progress. A little hard to tell but it looks like a preparatory finish has been applied to the exterior and that it is likely now ready for a new final finish to be applied.
A few months ago @kimmie909798 let us know this Futuro was about to have a makeover and this past weekend Kimmie let us know that the work was now underway.
On 091721 Kimmie drove past the Futuro and was able to grab this shot of folks working on the outer surface, apparently starting to apply some kind of a primer coat or similar. It is always great to see a Futuro receiving some well deserved TLC. Kimmie - thanks for the update.
It seems this Futuro is finally going to get a makeover! We received a message via Instagram from @kimmie909798 who visited the Futuro 071321 and told us that:
"The Futuro House in Livingston Illinois is being refurbished! I stopped by when I saw couple of men working on it and they said they plan to have The Futuro completed by early this fall. They plan to rent it for parties. The Futuro will be painted silver. They also plan to have a Route 66 themed miniature golf course in the field next to the Futuro. I'm so happy someone is refurbishing it; the Futuro will remain at the same location."
We are also very happy the unit is being refurbished; we will have to make a return visit to this location after the work is completed and see the result for ourselves.
On 090620 we had the opportunity to add this Futuro to the list of those we have personally visited (brings the count to 11 or perhaps more accurately 11½ as that list includes the half unit located in Frankfurt am Main).
This unit has been pretty well photographed and so it was much as we expected; a shell with no interior fixtures and fittings showing some signs of deterioration but not in as bad a condition as some units.
Though the owner was not on site at the time we did ask the staff at the Pink Elephant if the unit was for sale. They said "not officially" and added that the owner felt it was worth around $60-70K; the implication was that perhaps it would be for sale if someone offered something north of those numbers.
The photos below are some of those we took during our visit; most are just shots showing the exterior and interior and the general condition though the last three are perhaps worth commenting on:
Detail of one of the joins between shell segments. Illustrates the degradation of the flanges at the joins between segments which is notable as this has caused issues in some cases where units were disassembled after a sale and later reassembled after relocation
Detail of the insulation between the outer and inner skins of the shell segments around one of the windows; some deterioration for sure but nowhere near as bad as we have seen on some units
Detail of one of the support struts where it meets the shell. We had always assumed that the support struts on the US style units passed through the shell and were then directly connected to the substructure below the flooring. However looking at this unit it appears that this is not exactly the case. For each set of struts there were two metal fixtures attached to the substructure that passed through the shell. The hollow struts were then placed over these fittings; the struts themselves actually had a diameter greater than the holes in the shell and did not directly attach to the structure of the Futuro.
This awesome drawing featuring this Futuro is by talented artist Rex Parker. We enjoyed it so much we had to own it; a 13" x 19" print is now a part of our collection of "Things Futuro". You can get your own copy by visiting Rex's online store here.
This video of the Livingston Futuro by Tim Hills appeared attached to a comment on a 011818 post on the Trystcraft Facebook page.
The photo interested us not only because it is a rather "moody" shot of a Futuro but also because the rear windows seen through the front window to the left of the photo ends up looking like the "alien eyes" seen in many graphics; take a look at this photo of Frisco to see what we mean.
Wampa-One captured a couple of nice shots of this Futuro showing it as it was 032213. One of the photos is a very cool close up of the Futuro and the Pink Elephant. The photos are displayed here with permission.
We came across this very nice set of photos of this Futuro by singer/songwriter Citizen Fitz posted on his blog 082611.
We know the Futuro is somewhat rare; Pink Elephants - probably more so. Around the same time we came across the photos above we happened on this fun shot by the_mel. Taken 020711 the shot is an interesting capture that shows the Livingston Futuro along with the antique mall's "Pink Elephant".
Also notable is that it was taken before the Futuro got the new coat of paint reflected in the photos above.
Traditionally the proverbial "they" have mostly referred to aliens as "little green men". Clearly that is not the case; they have fur, four legs and a tail. We always figured that there was more to dogs than met the eye, they are too darn clever - perhaps all the time we spend training them is just a con and it is really them training us using reverse psychology.
Seriously though this photo by Debra Jane Seltzer of her "kids" at the Livingston Futuro is a great shot.
Debra runs the website RoadsideArchitecture.com which is a treasure trove of images from all across the USA - check it out. Debra also blogs about her experiences on the road trips she takes to collect her photographs; this photo is from one of her blog posts here.
The photograph was taken 050312 and that is now the latest "confirmed" date we have for this Futuro.
Original Information 092011
Sitting on the north side of I-55 in Livingston, IL you will find the The Pink Elephant Antique Mall. The mall is home to several larger than life curiosities including its namesake, a huge pink elephant as well a twenty foot tall swimmer and a giant "Twistee Treat" ice cream cone building.
This Futuro was previously located off Route 29 north of Springfield Airport before being purchased from Frank Moscardelli, on whose land it had sat for many years, by the owner of the Pink Elephant Dave Hammond. The Futuro was in quite a state at the time of purchase; in an article in The State Journal Register (012310) Hammond is quoted as follows:
"It was disgusting on the inside, really disgusting ... We had to gut it. It took four trucks to haul all the parts. It does need a lot of attention. We intend on fixing it back up and making it into a dining area with booths, where people can sit and eat ice cream."
That plan will clearly take a considerable amount of restoration work but the May 2011 photo from Alan C linked below clearly shows that the work is underway with the Futuro having received a shiny new coat of paint.
The second of the two images linked below by olrebbie is an interesting detail shot showing a doorbell installed on the Futuro. Not sure if this is something added to this unit or something standard as it is not something we have ever noticed before; it will be interesting to check images of other Futuros to see if we can ascertain whether this is a standard feature when time permits.
The video below is by RamblinAround; the Futuro pops up around 1:22 into the footage. The two photos below are by vantasy and Pete Zarria respectively and are displayed under CC 2.0 license. Additional photos can be found following the links listed below.