Thursday, 18 June 2009

Little green men

I was going to write only: "This is the coolest house in Florida" ...but then I fell down the Google rabbit-hole ("ufo house pensacola" did the trick) and found all kinds of fascinating bits and pieces about this spaceship we saw on our beach holiday.

According to Prefabcosm and Roadside America, this is one of the "Futuro" dwellings designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in 1968, initially for use as a ski-cabin or holiday home. The ideal was of a new era, a space-age, where everybody would have more leisure time to spend on holidays away from home.

Built by the Finnish company Oy Polykem Ab, the Futuro house was completely furnished and could accommodate eight people. It had a single bedroom, bathroom, U-shaped kitchen area, separate dining area, a curved 23-foot couch and a central fireplace that doubled as a grill. It was constructed entirely out of reinforced plastic, a new, light and inexpensive material back then. The plan was to mass-produce it, so it would be cheap enough to house all people around the earth. Mobile living was seen as the new possibility for the future – people could now take their moveable home with them wherever they went, and live like modern nomads.

Unfortunately the 1973 oil crisis spoiled all these plans. Prices of plastic raised production costs too high to be profitable. Only 96 Futuro houses were ever built. Besides the 48 made in Finland, at least 48 more were manufactured abroad on license.

This one at Pensacola Beach is said to have been lowered on to its "launch pad" by helicopter. If you look closely at the windows in the top photo, you can see the little alien face peeping out.

{I took these photos out the window of a moving car zipping along Pensacola Beach, hence the "omg-I've-just-seen-a-UFO!!" crookedy-ness. Authentic, no?}



  1. Hard luck with the '73 oil crisis. I'm surprised the existing ships didn't take off in search of a planet with more abundant resources.

    Picture it: OPEC makes its first announcement, then, from beyond the horizon, you hear the roar of 100 reinforced-plastic (and affordable) houses launching into the atmosphere.

  2. The SpaceShip House is on facebook at:

    and also has a website at:

  3. Jules, a sky full of affordable reinforced plastic houses would make the '73 oil crisis entirely worth it.