The House of the Future Still Alive

Matti Suuronen’s Venturo house was born in the space craze of the sixties, a modernistic googie dream about an easy, flexible yet cosmopolitan living. The Finish architect’s futuristic vision was as suited for the Jetsons as for Barbarella or Modesty Blaise, an architecture for the raging rebellious plastic fantastic pop-culture. A ”Just bring your orange bikini, and come for the weekend!”-kind of house. Suuronen was along with contemporaries like Verner Panton, Joe Colombo, Gaetano Pesce, and Archigram just one of many exponents for a design and architecture replacing a stale international modernism with blobby, curvy, sleek forms for a casual, easy-going lifestyle. Suuronen’s first venture in creating the house of the future was the flying saucer-like Futuro, something of a sci-fi prop that could land in whatever kind of terrain thanks to its four sturdy adjustable legs. Playboy enthusiastically named it the perfect bachelor pad. The likewise maintenance free, modularly assembled Venturo house was made out of fiberglass reinforced plastic, metal, and glass. Transport was easy, just lift the 7 parts onto a truck with a trailer, and go look for a piece of land.

The success was short-lived though, the oil crisis of the early seventies saw skyrocketing prices for plastic, and the houses of the future got stuck in the past. Nevertheless, they got hyped again when designers like Ross Lovegrove and Karim Rashind, as well as architects like Zaha Hadid and Asymptote, resurrected the raging sixties. The artist Lars Ramberg shipped a Venturo to the Sao Paulo Biennale to discuss the topic How To Live Together, as well as telling the story of the relation between Matti Suuronen and Oscar Niemeyer. BP brought three of the 19 Venturo houses, which were produced by Oy Polykem in Strömsund, Finland, to Sweden to be used as gas stations. Today only 9 Venturos are known to remain in the world. In Sweden one is used as a café at Kivik Art Center, another is possibly lost, while the number 17 is being restored to its original pristine condition and up for sale. Let us know if you are interested in acquiring an original Venturo - the house of the future. If so, do email Fredrik Lundahl at fredrik@rodamollan.se.

Venturo measures 485 square feet and weigh some 4 tons. The summer pod was delivered with a small kitchen, and some also with an integrated sauna. Some 19 Venturos were produced, only 9 remains worldwide.

The Venturo was made from light plastic with a frame of metal and wood, all of the elements designed as a kit of prefabricated parts suited for mass production. Aesthetically graceful curvy forms easily assembled, dissambled and reassembled anywhere.