Outer Banks Futuro House
The Futuro house was designed by Matti Suuronen. He was a Finnish architect. The house has a prefabricated design that was made in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is made to look like a flying saucer with an airplane hatch as the entrance. The houses have been collector’s items for years and measure 13 feet high and 26 feet in diameter. The materials used to make the future house include;
· Fiberglass-reinforced polyester plastic
· Poly(methyl methacrylate)
The concept of the house was a portable fiberglass reinforced plastic. It was to be constructed on-site. The house was made to adapt to all-terrain and climate.
The houses were out of the ordinary and alien-looking. This meant that they faced criticism due to their awkward shape and design. As people continued to dislike them for being different, sales continued to drop. Fewer houses were constructed as the years went by. About half of the total number remains standing today. One of these is the Outer Banks Futuro House.
Outer Banks UFO
Lee and Mary Russo acquired a piece of land in 1970. The land was near Frisco in North Carolina. Futuro houses remained a novel techno-utopian experiment. The couple bought one and put it on their property.
The prefabricated saucer was delivered in two halves. They assembled it on the property. The house has been on the Outer Banks since then. It has served numerous purposes, including;
· A Boy Scout meeting place
· Magazine office
· The Footlong Out of This World Hot Dog Stand
The saucer house at the Outer Banks has undergone many paint jobs. At one point, it was bright alien green. This fits its UFO aesthetic for some time. Now, it is painted silver.
The house has seen better days. It has been up for 45 years and subject to natural degradation. It has fallen to tatters and is ragged. However, visitors can still see the wonder that the house initially presented. Sometimes, you can see alien faces peeping from the windows. The current occupant dresses up in a green alien suit to take photos with visitors.
Futuro Houses of the World
Futuro Houses were initially made to be used as a ski chalet. Over the years, it gained popularity in different countries. It also gained additional functions. Some of the countries that used them are;
In Australia, a future house was located at a go-kart track. It was in South Morang in Melbourne, Victoria. It was used as a storage unit for more than 25 years. It was bought by Duncan McIntyre who moved it to the track.
Originally, the house was in Greensborough in Melbourne, Victoria. It was owned by a real estate agent. He used it as a temporary booth for sales of land. It was at a new housing estate known as Apollo Parkways.
In 2016, there was a Futuro House at the Falls Festival in Lorne in Victoria. It was used as a green room for artists. It was owned by a Kyneton, who then sold it to Perth in Australia where it was shipped.
There was a house found in Darwin. However, it was destroyed when Cyclone Tracy hit in 1974.
There are more future houses located in Deep Creek in South Australia. There are also more at the University of Canberra’s campus grounds.
2. New Zealand
In 1974, the New Zealand British Commonwealth Games were held. They saw two Futuro Houses transported to Christchurch. They were used as a temporary banking structure by the Bank of New Zealand. After the Commonwealth games, the structures were sold.
3. United States
The Futuro Corporation of Philadelphia manufactured the Futuro Homes in the United States. Many of the houses were in New Jersey and some are still standing today. In the 1970s and 1980s, at least nine standard Futuro houses and one with 8 windows were built in New Jersey. Most of the constructed Futuro Houses did not last long. They were demolished due to unpopularity.
The houses were put up in the parking lots of shopping centers. The most common use of the models was as small-scale bank branches. Using the houses to live in was difficult. This was due to zoning regulations of the time. The regulations made it difficult for one to live in a portable house.
Who Was it Meant For?
The main target of the houses were young adults seeking avant-garde retreats. It was promoted to emphasize the versatility of the home. It could adapt to different locations and was not limited by terrain.
This message was however limited. This was in the fact that the house needed electricity and plumbing to be effective. Without these, the house was not habitable. The structures that exist today have been refitted with these requirements. It however deflects from the original Suuronen design.
Can I Visit?
In order to enjoy the Outer Banks Futuro House, you need to visit during daylight. You will enjoy the Suuronen design in all its glory, albeit with a few modifications. The current occupant helps with the overall experience by dressing up in a green alien suit. When he looks out of the window-like openings, it gives the illusion of a real alien in a spaceship. It is a great experience for children, who are sure to be delighted by the alien peeping from windows. He is usually available in the summer months and on Halloween nights.
Futuro Houses did not gain much success, but they had enough popularity. The idea of a portable house that can survive in any terrain is genius. It could not survive due to zoning regulations. The houses were meant for temporary shelter for a few days or weeks.
The Outer Banks Futuro House is close to the side of Highway 12. There is no viewing fee. Donations are accepted and help to keep the alien afloat. It is a great chance to detour from an Outer Banks exploration.