Matti Suuronen’s Futuro House

Place: Espoo, Finland
Architectural Design: Matti Suuronen


Matti Suuronen’s Futuro House

The history of the Futuro house
is an iconic experimental house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the late Sixties. The Futuro house was initially developed by Suuronen in 1968 as a one-off mountain holiday home for a friend.
To facilitate construction works in a remote plot of land and installed on uneven terrain, the architect designed it as a prefabricated egg-shaped building composed of 16 fiberglass segments bolted together, and a support structure constituted of four concrete piers and a concave steel frame. The “egg” was pre-assembled, delivered to the site by a helicopter, and fastened to the previously completed supporting structure.


Matti Suuronen, Futuro House

Above and cover image. The Futuro House at EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art – Finland, photos Ari Karttunen/ EMMA.

Afterward, Suuronen decided to manufacture a series of houses industrially; unfortunately, Futuro was not commercially successful, and its production ceased in the early ’70. Overall, about 80 to 100 houses were produced.
The Futuro House project is one of the most interesting examples of those futuristic homes that flourished in the ’50s and ’60s, and which include the Endless House by Frederick John Kiesler, the Emergency Mass Housing Units by Arthur Quarmby, the Maison Bulle by Jean-Benjamin Maneval, and the Domobiles by Pascal Häusermann, among others.
Such houses were not only futuristic in their forms but were often intended by their creators as slivers of a more advanced, more equal, and presumably better society and way of life, which many believed were just around the corner, at the time.
A hopeful and a bit naive vision of the future that will be somewhat destroyed in the mid-seventies by the consequences of the oil crisis and by a general worsening of the socioeconomic and political context.





Futuro House at EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art – Finland, interior views, images Ari Karttunen/ EMMA. Courtesy of EMMA.

The Futuro houses today
It is estimated that about 60 Futuros survive today, mostly in bad conditions.
The first Futuro to be built, no. 001, was restored in 2014 and is currently on view at the EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art in Finland.
A second one, serial number 22, is owned by artist Craig Barnes, who found it in South Africa and transported it to the UK for an 18-month-long restoration process. The house was installed on a rooftop in the school’s King Cross campus at the Central Saint Martins school in London until September 2017.

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