Molly Cotter

Futuro Prefab: Spaceship-Shaped 1960s House of the Future Lands in Rotterdam

by , 08/22/11

future architecture,Futuristic, futuro home, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen,rotterdam, Matti Suuronen,Museum,

In 2010, Finnish conservator Anna-Maija Kuitunen wrote a thesis on how to repair the damage of the oldest Futuro model, including never-before-seen images of the house’s interior. After an extensive two-year restoration project, the Futuro prototype is now being exhibited for the first time in decades at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

Futuro no. 001 is the centerpiece of an exhibition called Futuro — Constructing Utopia, which will focus on the search for the perfectly constructed form. The show includes over 100 cultural pieces from the museum’s permanent collection, from Durer and Bruegel prints to modern fiberglass furniture and recently acquired contemporary art. Though Futuro is certainly the largest piece in the gallery, it is also widely considered one of the best examples of perfect form in design history.

The exhibition will be on display until October 2011.

+ Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Photos © Happy Famous Artist and Anna-Maija Kuitunen

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7 Comments

  1. Ken Kinghorn January 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Back in 1973 I spent the summer parking cars at an amusement park named ‘Gaslight Village’ in Lake George, NY USA. All summer we’d shelter under this ‘flying saucer’ which sat in the corner of the parking lot. It’s funny to me now how I never gave it a second thought. Years later I saw a picture in an architecture blog.. it was a Futuro – and in perfect shape too! A few years later it disappeared. I wish I knew where it went. These are so cool!

  2. Dales January 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    The most famous example might be the one used as the VIP room for a strip club in Tampa, Florida called 2001 space odyssey
    http://2001nude.com/

  3. clarerose August 26, 2011 at 3:00 am

    I remember seeing one of these in New Zealand in the early 70′s. We used to pass it on the way to the beach and I always wished I could see inside, and then one day it was open and we got to check it out. As a child I thought it was pretty special.

  4. dpoggemann August 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Hi! Thank you for mentioning my Pod for rent in Wisconsin :) We just love renting it out to people all over the US and the world. We actually had a renter from Munich a couple years ago that stayed for a couple weeks. He flew into Chicago and drove up for his “out of the world stay” (I know, cheesy but I am from Wisconsin so what do you expect :) ).

    Great article by the way…

    To ansewr the question from Dr. Nagy. No, they do not still produce. There were about 50 made by the Futuro corp in Finland and about 50 licensed to be made in the US. Approximate cost… I saw one go at auction at Christie’s in Paris for over 140,000 Euros and I saw another in the US that was “gutted” with nothing inside but the shell for $50,000 USD. I guess you might be able to buy one in good shape for around $100,000 – $125,000 USD if someone was interested in selling :) .

    Sewer pipes go below the pod from the center area…

    Thanks much and hope this helps!

    Drew

  5. @RussellLord August 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Anyone aware of the similar concept of the Dymaxion House developed by inventor and architect Buckminster Fuller in 1929? I would call this a beautiful and insightful reinterpretation of Fuller’s design, but can’t really credit Suuronen with a truly innovative idea. Fuller was significant, and his designs should certainly have been known in Europe by the late 60s.

    Hate to rain on the parade, but feel proper credit may be due to another design leader as well.

  6. DrNagy August 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I would buy one if they would still produce it. Are there any plans available? What is the approx. cost? Where is the sewer?
    Dr. Nagy
    Tennessee, USA

  7. Peter Syster August 22, 2011 at 8:37 am

    You find one at the right corner of the former “Berliner Rundfunk” area in Berlin, Nalepastrasse.

    Position: 52 28’40.74”North 13 29’55.09” East

    See the pics here:

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=STFVU1HX
    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=EC3F7DCF
    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=FDNSG8RI

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