Futuro House lands at WeeGee Exhibition Centre!
The WeeGee Exhibition Centre has acquired the first ever mass-produced Futuro House (no. 001) which was owned by Matti Kuusla from summer 1968 to autumn 2011 and located in Hirvensalmi. After being exposed to the elements for over 40 years, Futuro was first carefully restored and will now be exhibited in the WeeGee yard from May 8th until September 16th, as part of the World Design Capital programme.
Futuro House is a round, plastic house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in 1968. House was originally commissioned as a skiing lodge and holiday home that would be quick to heat and easy to construct even in rough terrain. Futuro was completely furnished and could accommodate 8 people. It was constructed entirely out of reinforced plastic, a new, light and inexpensive material at the time. The idea behind the design reflects the optimism of the sixties, the period’s faith in technology and its flying-saucer-like elliptical shape the conquering of space. Futuro measures eight meters in diameter, four meters in height, 25 square metres in floor area and 4000 kg total weight. It was originally available in white, yellow and light blue.
The house made headlines from the beginning both in Finland and abroad. It turned out to be too expensive to break into the mass market. After the 1973 Oil Crisis prices of plastic raised production costs too high to be profitable and all hopes of the Futuro House conquering the world had to be abandoned. Fewer than 100 Futuro houses were ever built. Besides the 20 made in Finland, a few dozen were manufactured abroad on license.
Since the 1990’s Futuro House has gained belated recognition and exposure in the international art world both as a work of art as well as a 1960’s space-age icon. Today, about 40 known Futuro houses remain in various corners of the world. Only two of these are in public collections: the Futuro prototype (no. 000) at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and from May 2012 onwards Futuro no. 001 at the WeeGee Exhibition Centre in Espoo.
The Ilme Gallery in Espoo Museum of Modern Art will host a small exhibition featuring the utopian world of the Futuro, in co-operation with young students of Arkki, School of Architecture for Children and Youth, with selected works from several renowned Finnish artists also contributing. The film by Mika Taanila, Futuro – A New Stance for Tomorrow, will be screened from May 8th during museum opening hours.
Open: Tue, Thu and Fri 11 am–6 pm, Wed 11 am–8 pm, Sat–Sun 11 am–5 pm. Admission: €10/8. Free for visitors under 18 and over 70 years of age. Admission to Futuro is €2 for everyone.
Espoo City Museum offers guided tours of the Futuro house for groups. Enquiries from Espoo City Museum, KAMU, at +358 9 816 57052