Retrofuturist Flashback: The Futuro House


Futuro! Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

In our continuing study of the future via the past, let's stop to consider the Futuro house.

Inspired by the flying saucers of science fiction and the space-age enthusiasm of the late 1960s, Finnish architect Matti Suuronen unleashed his design upon the world in 1969. The fuselage was composed entirely of glass-filled polyester resin and insulated with a special polymeric material called Hartmoltopren.

Let's peak inside, shall we? Here we see a 1969 promotional shot of a woman posing in the living room, furnished with six specially designed bedchairs on stands. You want your den to look as much like an "Outer Limits" set as possible, right?

Relaxing in '69.
Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

Fewer than 100 Futuro houses ventured out into the world, but a handful have found new life as refurbished, retrofuturist curios. If you live in the UK, you can actually visit a restored Futuro house (currently in London), but the website provides a lot of great images and content as well.

The 1989 documentary short "Futuro: A New Stance for Tomorrow " provides a nice dive into the topic, but it seems hard to come by these days. All the same, here's the trailer:

The future in the past.
© Michael Harding/Arcaid/Corbis

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.