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.
"a YouTube show which documents the lives of people around the world who live in unique and interesting small homes. The show explores all kinds of downsized living, including tiny houses on wheels, micro apartments, cabins, treehouses, earth homes, shipping container homes, busses, vans and everything in between. With weekly episodes, it delves into the lives of people who are choosing to live an alternative lifestyle in unconventional architecture."
An episode of the show titled "A Vision Of The Future From The Past: Tour A Futuro 'UFO' House" posted to Youtube 091922 features this Futuro. The show includes a great conversation with owner Nick which encompasses some Futuro history, the story of Nick's "Futuro journey" and some marvelous video footage which gives us a wonderful look at the superb Airbnb "resort" that Nick has put together which has the Futuro as it's main focus but is actually so much more than just the Futuro.
The two Futuros located in Ohoka have been temporarily joined by a third marking only the second time, to our knowledge anyway, that three Futuros have been located on a single site: more info can be found here.
There are many photos of Futuros with a space or alien theme and often times we are not lovers of them because, despite any appearances to the contrary, this theme played no part in the inspiration for, or deign of, the Futuro.
However in the case of this photo and it's "Close Encounters" vibe we make an exception. The photo was posted to Facebook by owner Nick after being sent to him by one of his guests; it is simply stunning and is now one of our absolute all time favorite Futuro photos.
"all about showcasing the best of beautiful North and South Canterbury and being 100% locally owned and operated - we know our region really well. That's what makes us the ultimate local read. From new businesses to unique homes and gardens; innovative entrepreneurs and intriguing personalities - essence brings you the very best of the region."
The magazine actually publishes two versions, one covering North Canterbury and the second devoted to South Canterbury. The North Canterbury April 2022 issue included this great two page feature on Nick's Airbnb under the heading "Ohoka's Flying Saucer". A PDF version of the publication can be found online here.
Nick describes the video as "A quick walkthrough of my Futuro house air bnb in Christchurch New Zealand". All we can say is that she looks awesome; doubt we will ever have the opportunity but it looks like a really cool place to stay for a few days.
We have been following Nick's progress as he diligently worked to develop one of his Futuros and the area around it into a truly awesome Airbnb and after many many months of work the site finally opened and had its first guests.
We want to congratulate Nick on an marvelous project and a fantastic Airbnb location! Unfortunately we don't really foresee ever being able to visit New Zealand but you can be sure that if we did we would be looking to stay at this site.
If you do live in New Zealand or you are visiting the area and are interested in a stay you can book on Airbnb here.
The photo below was posted to Facebook by Nick and was accompanied by this comment:
"My first Airbnb guests at the Futuro stayed last night :) they took this photo and I really love it :)"
So do we!
Nick continues to regularly share photos and document his progress towards launching his Futuro as what we think will be a stunning Airbnb. The photos and video below are the latest Nick has posted to Facebook (they were posted between 110321 and 122121).
As always Nick thanks for sharing; we cannot wait to see the finished product!
These first photos were posted 110321. Wonderful and colorful is how we feel about "More pillows!";
There is certainly a great deal of work being done both inside and outside. Here we see "Landscaping day. Massive weed mat install";
Attention to every detail! 110621 saw Nick "Framing artwork for the bedroom walls in the Futuro house. (3more to go) I think they look awesome!";
And then a couple of days later we see art being hung as Nick posts the two photos below 110921 with the comment "Couple of art pieces put up today :):):):):)";
Bathrooms are not generally the most photogenic of places but we will make an exception in the case of this video shot 111421 and posted with this comment; "Bathroom fully plumbed up! So epic";
111721 saw several updates to Nick's Instagram feed. The first showed us "Final art pieces up. Mattresses installed on Monday : )";
Then we learned of yet another feature being added for the Airbnb in this comment "Old garage almost finished being pulled down. Games room going up in its place next week :):):):)";
And finally for the day some work on the exterior of the Futuro (and, for us at least, a new New Zealand slang word) as we see "Bogging imperfections and sanding ready for painting!"
So if you have a "futuristic" structure it's only natural to go for a "futuristic" mode of cleaning and that is what Nick has done as we see in this awesome video clip he posted to Instagram 111921;
112121 sees work on both the Futuro and its surroundings; The first three photos below draw this comment from Nock "Canadian sauna being installed today. Smells so good! :):):):):)" while the last one is accompanied by this "Bogging and fiberglassing going really well thanks to Jake Walmsley and Bailey Ruwhiu Wilkinson. Not an easy job dealing with such a large round object!";
The photos below, added to Facebook 112921, were accompanied by this from Nick; "Filled all the holes in the ceiling today that had to be made to repair some damage : ) also buffed all the micro scratches out of the acrylic windows with this amazing product that brings them back to almost new! And last but not least finished boxing the last garden and put down crusher dust ready to lay tiles to the pool pump house and another small walkway : ) getting so close to opening day :):):):):):)";
Nick has been doing a great deal of work not only on the Futuro itself but also on the property in general around it all aimed at the best possible Airbnb experience and here we see another addition in progress. This photo is described simply as "Games room coming along!";
Here we see both Futuro and non Futuro activity with photos of "Final pieces of art ready to be framed and hung up! Really happy with these ones : ) pathway finished with black stone as well :)";
The bedroom is really starting to come together as illustrated by these 113021 photos showing the "Mattresses finally arrived and in place! They are so comfy !! Incredibly happy with the result"
This photo was posted 120621 accompanied by this comment; "Really heavy rain today so couldn't do much outside. Basically just cleaned and unpacked this wood shower mat which I think looks pretty cool".
While this is not the most visually stunning photo it did result in a rather interesting question and answer when Nick posted it. When asked "is ur toilet IN the shower?" Nick responded "yup. Pretty unusual but that is how the original futuros were built so that's how we rebuilt it : ) the whole room is a big wet room. Similar to a motor home bathroom."
"New paint job for the Futuro :)" We totally agree, she is looking great!
We keep thinking we have seen every "feature" of Nick's upcoming Airbnb and that we are just waiting to see the completed project but then he keeps surprising us with brand new and usually very cool additions. The latest showed up 121421 with the photos below and the description "Hardwood shower living walls going in today. Star jasmin vibe will grow all over it to create a wall of perfumed flowers while you're in the shower."
122121 saw "Lots of progress today :)"
And finally this time around a nice look inside as we see the "Curtain between bedroom one and living room starting to go up :):)"
The photos below are the latest posted to Facebook by owner Nick (between 100221 and 102921) documenting his progress as he works not only on his Futuro but also on the area around it and all of the additional features that will clearly make this one of the most awesome Airbnb's ever.
As always Nick thanks for sharing; we are getting quite jealous as we watch from afar!
First off on 100221 we see Nick comment this way on the photos below "LED colored lighting installed under the Futuro. Still many many more to be installed all over the property in the coming few weeks. Native planting underway and this coming week the installation of the sauna, changing room and a few more surprises: )"
Then a couple of days later we have these photos accompanied by this comment "1970s fiberglass changing room going up ! (Really rare) and new pool fence"
These photos, dating from 100521, show the "Pool fencing all done : ) and central dome installed"
100721 sees the "Changing room up!"
The next day Nick posted this photo described very simply as "Chandelier Up :)"; we love it!
The story continued on 101121 as we saw the "Curtain tracks going up ! :):):):)"
Work on the Futuro's interior continued 101521 which was the "Final painting day for bathroom and second bedroom (hopefully lol)"
And then on 101621 we saw work continuing on the landscaping and features around the Futuro. Nick described it this way; "More landscaping today ! Preparing to dump truck loads of soil in to level up the new lawn. Oh and we finished the new bench seat in the pool area :)"
Back on 101121 we saw the curtain rails going up and now, on 101821, we see the curtains going up. This one was a "family affair" with Nick describing it this way; "Curtains going up ! So happy with them. Thanks mum for making them for me :):):):):):):):)"
Nick seems to have forgotten nothing when it comes to setting up this Futuro as an Airbnb. Here we see the focus on the landscaping as Nick notes that it is "Plant shopping day : ) landscaping well underway this week! Nz natives"
And, continuing the landscaping theme Nick posted the photo below with this comment on 102621 "Lots of soil to build up the section : ) makes the Futuro look small!"
These two photos appeared 102621 and 102821 and were described by Nick this way, "Planting underway. Big job!" and "Old barn being semi rebuilt this week. It was on a massive lean so the culmer construction guys straightened it up and we are going to clad it in black metal like the fence. Should be nice";
These photos were described simply as "Epic landscaping day"; there were many more photos so check out Nick's Facebook feed, the photos show something of the epic scale of what Nick is doing here. We have said it before but it is worth repeating, we think Nick's Futuro Airbnb is going to be something truly special!
The longer we follow Nick's "Futuro journey" and his (extensive) preparations for launching the Futuro as an Airbnb the more impressed we are. It seems like Nick has thought of everything and is preparing what looks like it will be a stunning place to stay; the amount of thought and work that is going into this project is nothing short of remarkable.
Nick shared these latest photos on his Facebook page between 090121 and 093021. As always Nick, thanks so much for sharing, it is so much fun to live vicariously and follow along with your progress!
The first set of photos from 080621 illustrated the "Walkway to sauna/ outdoor shower (being) complete!";
090621 saw the "Stairs installed! Just needs adjusting once we can get the right drill bits to drill threw some thick steel we came across whilst installing the hinges. Level 2 tomorrow so can go shopping! Will be time to paint the exterior soon!";
These photos appeared 090921 accompanied by this comment "New sauna for the Futuro purchased today ! The guests are going to have such a relaxing and special time".
This actually led one half of the team here at thefuturohouse.com to observe that Nick was "making it so wonderful that she wants to come and stay and NEVER LEAVE??"
More interior work 091221; "Fibreglassing the walls and floor in the Futuro bathroom ready for the shower and toilet to go in. Almost done!!!";
091421 sees the "New metal boundary fence almost finished!";
091821; "Couch squabs installed! So comfy!" We agree ; it sure looks inviting;
The bathroom getting a little work 092021 as these photos show. They were accompanied by this comment "Bathroom in the Futuro with Gelcoat finish. Looking really awesome!";
And the bathroom "Getting there!" the next day;
And on 092321 we see preparations for the finishing of the exterior with Nick adding this note to these photos "Exterior fibreglassing and soon to be painting time!";
And finally this time around on 093021 we see this photo with this comment from Nick "Just installed tv on the wall and test fitting "the dome" lol :) ready for central Chandelier"
The photos below continue the journey of Nick's Futuro towards its listing on Airbnb; the more we see the more we think this is going to be a truly awesome place to stay.
Nick shared these photos on his Facebook page between 080621 and 081621. As always Nick, thanks so much for sharing, it is great to be able to follow along with your progress!
The first two photos from 080621 were described as "Day one of installing the Futuro house entrance stairs! should be finished tomorrow : )";
"Deck going to the Futuro from the pool being built today! Going to look awesome with all the lights" was the description attached to this set of four photos. We agree, this place will look awesome!;
This photo was identified simply as "Day 2";
Here we see the "New entrance gate to the property for the Futuro :):):):) very secure". We agree; this should make people feel good when they arrive to stay!;
The deck "Almost done!":
081621 saw "Landscaping underway. Sauna and outdoor shower/decking being installed in the pool area : )";
Unfortunately Covid reared its ugly head again and New Zealand went into "lockdown". Nick occupied himself producing these interesting images with the comment "Lockdown. Playing around with some photo editing". Hopefully things will get better and work will be able to resume again soon;
Nick's Futuro is getting closer and closer to being complete and ready for listing on Airbnb. The photos and videos below show the final stages of work prior to a short move to its final location along with a couple of photos of the Futuro in its "new" home; Nick shared them on his Facebook page between 070621 and 072721. As always Nick we appreciate you sharing your "Futuro Journey" with us!
These first two photos were described respectively as "Final addition going up in both bedrooms" and "Futuro loaded up into its metal frame ready to be craned over to its new pool side home! More pics next week!!!"
This set of photos from 072521 were described simply as "Futuro craning day".
This pair of photos shows us the "Futuros new home" and Nick goes on to add "Now the fun stuff starts! Entrance stairs/door to be installed, exterior painted and landscaping!!"
Nick also added this very cool video showing the actual lift to his Instagram feed. There are also a few other videos on his Facebook page that are worth checking out; we cannot seem to either download them for display here or embed them for some reason.
The photos below show the continuing work owner Nick has been doing on one of his two Futuros since the last update to this page on 042821; they run chronologically top to bottom, left to right. The photos were posted to Nicks Instagram and Facebook accounts between 042821 and 062921. As always we want to thank Nick for sharing his journey with us.
Nick described these first two photos as "Bunk going up. Queen bed on rollers currently half rolled away" and "Couch almost built! :):):):):):):)" respectively.
Nick added this comment to the first of these two photos "Futuro house stairs that I had made just arrived : ) my white Futuro was missing the entrance stairs so I had a copy made of my yellow futuros stairs :):):):)" and commented this way on the second, "Final coat of paint on the internal doors! Amazing".
061921 saw this comment "After 4 months of hard work the Futuro house is almost complete ( except for painting the exterior which will have to wait till winter eases up a bit) can't wait to remove all the protective plastic over the next week and show off the final product. Not long now xoxo" and the first of these two photos. A couple of days later the second photo was posted with this comment "Futuro kitchen complete! :):):):):)"
"Doors on finally : )" was the simple comment that accompanied these two photos.
This comment, "Futuro interior almost complete!!! Just a few small things left to do (mattresses etc)", and the accompanying photos date from 062721
Most recently on 062921 Nick posted these photos with this comment; "Plastic removed : ) just gotta put the chandelier up in the middle with its big fibreglass dome surround and the curved tv on the wall and the interior is basically finished :):):):):):)" She looks awesome Nick!
And finally these two photos; not really following the timeline or reflecting the renovation work but rather simply great nighttime photos of the Futuro.
As he continues work on his Futuro Nick also continues to share his progress on social media and as always it is our pleasure to share it here also. A little while ago Nick posted this photo:
The photo is a vintage photo from "back in the day" from the The De Martini Collection and is Nick's inspiration and goal for his restoration project.
Looking at this series of photos (chronological top to bottom left to right and running from the end of March through 042721) we think you will agree Nick is doing a stunning job.
Nick - as always thanks so much for sharing your "Futuro Journey".
We love to hear about a Futuro getting a little TLC so it was great to see a number of photos posted by owner Nick to his Instagram and Facebook feeds recently along with this comment attached to one of the posts: "Futuro (restoration) coming along nicely!!!" We agree and cannot wait to see her when she if finished.
The photos run chronologically left to right, top to bottom and run from 021821 thru 032821.
Nick - as always thanks so much for sharing your "Futuro Journey".
Owner Nick McQuoid recently captured his Ohoka Futuro and an amazing sunset in this great set of photos he added to his Instagram feed 030320.
Owner Nick McQuoid "rang in the New Year" by posting this great set of photos of one of his Futuro's to his Facebook timeline.
Owner Nick McQuoid continues to share his progress via social media as he works on one of his Futuros. This time around we see the windows installed in these photos from Nick's Instagram and Facebook.
It is always great to see a Futuro and/or its owner getting media coverage. In this case we find Nick McQuoid and his Futuros appearing in, of all things, a Chinese newspaper. Congats Nick!
Back in April we saw the lower half of one of Nick McQuoid's Futuro assembled, here in May we get to see the completion of the assembly of the shell as the upper half is added. The video and photos below that illustrate this work are sourced from Nick's Instagram and Facebook feeds and were posted 050419 through 050619. It is great to see the progress as the Futuro comes together and we are looking forward to seeing the further work in the future. Our thanks to Nick for continuing to share and document his Futuro "journey".
Nick McQuoid continues to make progress with his Futuros as documented in this series of photos posted to his Facebook page. The majority of the photos were posted 032319 and show the assembly of the lower half of one of the units. The final two photos were added 040819 and show upper body segments being cleaned in preparation for further assembly work.
Nick McQuoid could be considered something of a "mover and shaker" in the "Futuro World" and he recently let us know about two more "Futuro transactions/moves" in which he was involved.
First off Nick has purchased the Paringa River Futuro and it is being moved to Rangiora along with the Futuros he already owns. In theory that would bring the count of Futuros in Rangiora to three except that Nick has also recently sold one of his Futuros so Rangiora actually continues to be the home of two Futuros.
The removal of the Futuro from the remote Paringa River location was an adventure involving land, sea and air; Nick documented the removal in a series of photos and videos that can be found on the Paringa River page.
The sale is particularly notable in that, with a sale price of $260K new Zealand dollars (about $175k US dollars at the time of writing), it achieved the highest sale price yet for a Futuro (at least according to our often fallible memory and details we have of sales where we know the sale price - Warrington we believe would have gone for more but that was not only a Futuro, it included a home and lot).
While we congratulate Nick for the likes of us with a huge interest in Futuro but a small budget it just seems to make the already remote possibility we might ever manage to buy our own Futuro an even more remote pipe dream! That said it is nice to think that another Futuro is going to be (presumably) preserved and open to the public.
As he continues to work on his Futuros owner Nick McQuoid continues to document progress and activity on his Facebook page; most recently he added the video below.
Around the same time as the video was posted Nick also added these photos.
Nick McQuoid continues to work on his Futuros and to post interesting photos to his Facebook timeline along the way. These photos showing Futuro sections "on the move" were posted 121417.
Nick McQuoid posted this pair of interesting photos to his Facebook page recently showing new fibreglass moulds that he has built so that missing parts for the Futuros he is restoring can be fabricated (internal components such as interior walls/bathroom fixtures).
Owner Nick McQuoid continues to work on the restoration of his Futuros and he recently posted this interesting set of photos of various interior fixtures and fittings to his Facebook page.
Always exciting to see progress on Futuro restoration projects and Nick McQuoid recently posted the two photos below to his Facebook page commenting that work is "almost done ready for rebuilding". Looking forward to seeing how everything turns out Nick!
There have been a number of Futuro restorations over the last few years and for us following these restoration projects is always interesting. Owner Nick McQuoid shared the photo below of the support ring for one of his Futuros which was being sandblasted and then painted in a Facebook Post on 042016; another milestone in his restoration project.
Nick had also previously had a support ring fabricated (see here). The Futuro that shipped from Australia clearly shipped with the support ring (see this photo) and certainly the unit previously located in Kaimaumau was mounted on a functional support ring when it was at that location (see this photo) so it is unclear why one had to be fabricated from scratch.
That being said given that the support ring seen below looks to have been yellow (and thus likely from Australia) our guess would be that the support ring from Kaimaumau was damaged significantly enough that a new one needed to be fabricated. Of course we all know where making assumptions gets you; no doubt at some point Nick will correct us if we are wrong.
One of Nick's Futuros, the white one previously located in Kaimaumau, recently made the move to the facility where restoration work will be undertaken. Good luck with the restoration Nick, looking forward to seeing how she turns out.
This first set of four photos show the unit being loaded up for transport. They were posted to Nick's Facebook Page 032216.
This second set of photos, posted the next day, show the unit arriving at the restoration facility.
Issue #10, "The Home Issue", of New Zealand vintage lifestyle magazine Glory Days features a nice six page Futuro article. The article focuses on the history of the Futuro, primarily as it relates to New Zealand, and on Nick McQuoid and the pair of Futuros he is in process of restoring in Rangiora.
The article was written by Mathilda Wrexham and in it we learn that Nick first came across the Futuro as a child growing up in Christchurch. Nick recounts that his parents would often drive past a "flying saucer" in New Brighton on the banks of the Avon River (most likely the Futuro now in Harewood but at the time on Fordingbridge Lane).
At the time Nick had no idea what the structure actually was but about five years ago he was driving home from Christchurch airport when he happened to glance over into a storage facility for old relocatable housing (Harewood) and saw the same structure. Looking the structure up online when he got home Nick discovered it was a Futuro.
Nick contacted the owners of the storage facility to see if the Futuro might be for sale; it was but he was disappointed to find that the asking price was way out of his range at $260K. Nick however was not discouraged and he continued to research the Futuro and one day he saw a sale listing for the Kaimaumau Futuro. Wasting no time Nick contacted the agent to book a viewing and flew north to see the Futuro the very next day.
The unit had been on site since the early 70's (likely its only location to that point) and had been occupied by the female owner until she passed a few years prior. Nick signed on the spot and, being unable to use the Futuro at its existing location, decided to move it to Christchurch.
Around the same time, and during the course of his research into the Futuro Nick had made contact with Paul McNeil (Paul wrote the Australia and New Zealand sections of the Home and Taanila edited Futuro book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday). McNeil had purchased a Futuro in Christchurch in 1996 which he had shipped to Sydney but he had never gotten around to restoring it and it was in storage.
Paul agreed to sell the Futuro to Nick and it was shipped back to Christchurch. This Futuro was one of the ones used in Christchurch at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games by the Bank Of New Zealand (info here) and Nick felt like he had "brought the Futuro back home".
Nick's two Futuros are currently in process of restoration in Rangiora (along with another Suuronen building; a CF-45 Venturo). Once renovation is completed Nick plans to use the units as accommodation for locals and international visitors. Not sure we will ever be able to do it but we do hope to make a trip to Australia and New Zealand one day; guess where we will be looking to stay if we do ever get to New Zealand.
We are looking forward eagerly to seeing how Nick's renovations turn out.
It seems Nick is making some good progress on his restoration project. The photos below from Nick's Facebook Page illustrate the mold Nick has manufactured for making the armrest units that sit between each chair/bed unit and also the first unit made using the mold. That first unit looks pretty good based on the photo but Nick indicates in the comment that accompanies the photo that it needs a little tweaking to be perfect.
Nick is clearly planning on giving at least one of his Futuros a European flavor since the Australian and New Zealand units did not feature the set of chair/bed units seen in the European Futuros.
It is a rather exciting time for Futuro restoration efforts; there is the Futuro once in South Africa now being restored by Craig Barnes in the United Kingdom, the Canberra University Futuro being restored by Wade and Jon's team and of course Nick has two Futuros in Rangiora which he is starting to restore. The three new photographs below show newly fabricated support ring sections for one of Nick's Futuros - photos courtesy of Nick.
OK so this is not "technically" a Futuro update but since Nick now appears to be the premier Futuro House owner in the world with three (the two listed here and the Raglan Futuro which will be moved to Rangiora in the New Year) and the Venturo is also a Matti Suuronen design we are including this here.
The other day Nick sent us the three photos below which show Nick's Venturo House which will be shipped to Rangiora to join his Futuros in the new year. Quite a collection you are amassing there Nick!
The photos below were posted on Facebook by Nick McQuoid - Nick we hope you do not mind us raiding your Facebook timeline!
This first photo of Nick atop one of his Futuros in "cleaning mode" does not specify a location but we believe it is the Kaimaumau Futuro prior to disassembly and removal from that site and transport to Rangiora.
The next two photos show the Kaimaumau Futuro after cleaning and prior to disassembly. All we can say is "what a difference that elbow grease made"; looks pristine in these shots.
The next series of six photos shows the Kaimaumau Futuro after disassembly and loaded on a truck ready to travel to its new home (first two photos) and then unloaded at its destination where it will be stored until it is reassembled and restored (following four photos).
This final series of photos relate to the yellow Futuro Nick brought back to New Zealand from Australia. The first three photos show the unit being prepared for loading into containers for shipping to New Zealand and the fourth shows the unit as it was stored in a disassembled state prior to starting the shipping process. The final photo is a very cool shot of the Futuro as it was when used as a Bank Of New Zealand branch at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand