Futuro House was a tiny house before tiny houses were a thing

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The Futuro House was designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen(Credit: Craig Barnes)

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Interest in tiny houses has exploded in recent years, but the idea isn't new as this tiny home from the 1960s shows. Fewer than 100 Futuro Houses were ever made, but they have become something of a design icon. Now, one is on display at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (CSM) in London.

The Futuro House was designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen and was intended for use as a prefabricated ski cabin that would be "quick to heat and easy to construct in rough terrain." It took an elliptical form and was made of 16 fiberglass segments that would be bolted together.

The first prototype was built in early 1968 and they began being manufactured around the world. However, unusual design was often not well received and, to compound matters, the oil crisis of the early 1970s caused plastic prices to treble. These factors contributed to the demise of the Futuro House.

It is thought that only around 60 Futuro Houses are still in existence, one of which was acquired by artist Craig Barnes in 2013. Barnes discovered Futuro House No. 022 in South Africa and saved it from being destroyed. He had it dismantled and transported 12,000 miles (19,312 km) to Herefordshire, UK over a period of 18 months, after which restoration work began in January 2014.

With the restoration complete, Barnes is touring his Futuro House and is keen for it to be used as a place for activities, rather than just viewed as a museum piece. It is currently in situ on the terrace of CSM, where it is hosting a year-long series of events.

Source: Craig Barnes

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