Futuro Homes

While driving through the backwoods of Texas, my friend SteveW stumbled across what appeared to be an abandoned UFO sitting in a pasture. After seeing the picture, I immediately recognized the structure as being a Futuro Home.

According to Wikipedia, Futuro Homes were prefabricated structures designed by Matti Suuronen in Finland, back in the late 1960s. Fewer than 100 of these UFO-shaped pods were built, most in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Unfortunately, rising oil and gas prices of the early 1970s made manufacturing them cost prohibitive. Again according to Wikipedia, less than 50 of these homes are known to have survived. How one ended up in the middle of a pasture in southern Texas is anybody’s guess.

Futuro Homes measure just over 11′ tall and 25′ wide. They were made mostly of fiberglass and plastic, and could be mounted on adjustable legs that made them simple to set up in rough or sloped terrain. Inside, the Futuro had configurable room partitions that gave owners the ability to customize the pods to meet their specific needs. Each Futuro came with a fireplace in the middle of the unit and contained all the ammenities of your average home (although somewhat compacted).

Of the remaining 50 or so units that are still known to exist, about half of them reside in the United States. The one pictured below is in North Carolina and currently serves as a “retro toy” gift shop.

Northern Wisconsin is home to the Pod Up North, a Futuro Home that doubles as a rentable lake cabin for $85/night. If I am ever up that way, I am definitely sleeping in that thing!

Amenities in the “Pod Up North” include heat and air conditioning, a small toaster oven, a grill, kitchen and bath towels, and a TV with a DVD/VHS combo that includes an entire library of “out of this world” films including E.T., Star Trek, Star Wars, and more.

What an awesome place to sit back and enjoy the view of the water. However, if you prefer your water frozen, you might prefer this Futuro home in Russia instead.

In 1998 a documentary titled Futuro: A New Stance for Tomorrow was released. The best I can tell, the film is only available in PAL format with Finnish audio and English subtitles. There’s also a Futuro coffee table book on Amazon, but the cheapest copy I was able to find there was $375.

As for that one my friend found in Texas, it appears to be in pretty rough shape. Essentially everything but the fiberglass shell is missing, and even that isn’t in great condition. Hopefully someone with more money than me will restore it to its former glory and either rent it out or fly it home …

Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

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