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Futuro Houses Known To have Been Demolished Or Otherwise Destroyed

Update 072812

In looking through some old emails I found something I had missed at the time and should have added here. It seems that this "half" Futuro was donated by the company Expotechnik Holding GmbH & Co. KG. For more information see the Taunusstein Futuro page.

The confirmed date for this "half" Futuro can now be updated to 072812. Achim Breiling aka "futurohunter" visited the site and took these photos 072812. Thank you for sharing them Achim!

Futuro, Half, Frankfurt am Main - Alt 1

Futuro, Half, Frankfurt am Main - Alt 2

Futuro, Half, Frankfurt am Main - Alt 3

Futuro, Half, Frankfurt am Main - Alt 4

Futuro, Half, Frankfurt am Main - Alt 5

Futuro, Half, Frankfurt am Main - Alt 6

Original Information 101611

Part Futuro, Frankfurt am Main, Germany - Google Street View 101611
View In Google Maps

Part Futuro, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Image Source: Jugendhaus Frankfurt - Nied

Looking at the Google Maps "Street View" of Birminghamstraße 119, 65934 Frankfurt am Main, Germany [50°6'1.19"N 8°34'45.65"E] and the photo above you could be forgiven for thinking that what we have here is a Futuro House partially enclosed within a more conventional building; that is certainly the thought I had.

As I started my standard research process I fully expected to be adding this location to the list of "confirmed" Futuro House locations. However, as it turns out, what is actually on site at this location is only part of a Futuro House integrated with a conventional building and as such it rightfully belongs in the "Demolished or Destroyed" category.

To me any Futuro that is lost is somewhat sad but at least in this case a part remains and that part is serving a positive purpose as a part of a Youth Center; the Jugendhaus Frankfurt - Nied [website is in German - English translation here].

The two pictures below show the view from the inside. You can clearly see the joins between the sections of the Futuro; it appears that 8 of the original 16 sections have been used here. I have no idea what became of the remainder of the unit or where it was located when it was a complete unit; if you have any information about this I would love to hear it.

Part Futuro, Frankfurt am Main, Germany - Int 1  Part Futuro, Frankfurt am Main, Germany - Int 2

Image Source: Jugendhaus Frankfurt - Nied

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Broadkill Beach, DE, USA | Added 012613

In a post in the Yahoo Group futurohouse dated 010513 Barney Vincelette, owner of the Houston Futuro, recounted how a Futuro located on Broadkill Beach, DE had been "destroyed to make room for a more "sociably acceptable" trailer" a few years ago.

Despite spending a significant amount of time in Google Search and Google Maps and scouring Google Earth satellite imagery from various historical dates I have not been able to find any specific location, information or photos of a Futuro in that location.

In the course of my research I did come across a few references to a Futuro on Rehoboth Beach, DE [which is only 17 or so miles from Broadkill by road See Google Map below] including one on the website Given the imprecise nature of some Futuro reports it is entirely possible these references are to same unit. Having said that what references there are always seem to lead back to photos of the Milton Futuro which is some 8 miles or so inland from the coast at Broadkill.

One additional mention of a Futuro on Broadkill comes in the form of a cartoon; this page on the "Zippy the Pinhead" website mentions a 070201 published cartoon referenced as "Futuro home Broadkill Beach, DE". On my main page in the "Bits & Pieces" section there are three "Zippy the Pinhead" cartoons; I believe this is the middle one of the three [the color one] which appears to actually have been published twice as this page dates it to 022209. Whatever the date there is a clear reference to a Futuro on Broadkill Beach.

Despite the lack of "conclusive" evidence of a Futuro on Broadkill [or for that matter Rehoboth] I am classifying this Futuro as being destroyed rather than lost based on the source of the information; I have always taken the view that the most reliable source of information on Futuro's is probably the owner's of Futuro's.

If you know anything about this Futuro, perhaps exactly where it was located, or know of any photos of it I would love to hear from you - thanks.

View Larger Map

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Charles Wilp [1932-2005] was a prominent German advertising mogul, artist and photographer. By all accounts he was a "larger than life" and perhaps eccentric character and he certainly made his mark on the advertising scene, perhaps most notably with his 1968 Afri-Cola campaign. Not that they actually have anything to do with the Futuro House but rather because they are simply interesting the two videos below show a broadcast version of a Wilp Afri-Cola commercial and some unpublished alternative footage.

Iserlohn ExhibitionAmong many "claims to fame" Wilp was the owner of a Futuro House which was located on the roof of his Wittlaer, Germany residence. Out on the good old web there seems to be some confusion, misinformation and conflicting reports surrounding the history of Wilp's Futuro but there is, for me, one source of information more reliable than most and that would be "Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday" edited by Marko Home and Mika Taanila.

According to Home & Taanila Wilp's Futuro House was a gift from the pharmaceutical giant Bayer who co-sponsored the 1971 "Holiday Building Exhibition" held in Iserlohn, Germany. Bayer provided the chemical materials to construct the Futuro and, at the end of the exhibition, gave the Futuro to Wilp who then transported it to Wittlaer and, after reinforcing the concrete roof of his house with steel, placed it on top of his residence.

The photo above left shows the Futuro at the Iserlohn Exhibition and the two photos below show the Futuro located on the roof of Wilp's residence in Wittlaer.

The photo above left and the two photos below are deliberately low resolution photos from my copy of "Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday". My intention is to illustrate the Wittlaer Futuro not to provide copyright infringing images to be copied and reproduced elsewhere so please respect the author's rights and if you would like to use the book's content in any way purchase your own copy. Thanks!

Futuro Wittlaer - Home & Taanila 1

Futuro Wittlaer - Home & Taanila 2

During the decade or so the Futuro House was located in Wittlaer Wilp and his Futuro were visited by a variety of starts and VIP's; the first of the two images below from Home & Taanila's book shows a few of them. From left to right they are Andy Warhol & Arthur Paul, Claes Oldenburg, Linda McGill and Rory Flynn [with Wilp].

In addition the Futuro was at one point "wrapped" by artist Christo; the second of the two images below shows the Futuro "wrapped" along with a shot of Christo working on the project.

The two photos below are deliberately low resolution photos from my copy of "Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday". My intention is to illustrate the Wittlaer Futuro not to provide copyright infringing images to be copied and reproduced elsewhere so please respect the author's rights and if you would like to use the book's content in any way purchase your own copy. Thanks!

Futuro Wittlaer - Home & Taanila 3

Futuro Wittlaer - Home & Taanila 4

The presence of the Futuro on the roof of Wilp's residence was a source of angst for the local authorities and in 1983 they finally forced him to remove it. According to Home & Taanila:

"The house was by then in such weathered condition that Wilp had to take it to a wasteland to rot."

Hence the sad inclusion of Wilp's Futuro on this page of demolished Futuros.

Considering Wilp's fame and prominent place in society there seem to be surprisingly few photos and a lack of information about his Futuro. One of the best photographs of the few I have seen is this one, courtesy of the website [German text | Google translation to English here]. The text accompanying this photo indicates that the Christo "wrapping" of the Futuro took place in 1973 though this date cannot be confirmed elsewhere and there are mentions of it being in 1970. The actual date is unclear.

Futuro Wittlaer -

Another of my favorite photographs of Wilp's Futuro is courtesy of the website [German text | Google translation to English here]. The article accompanying this photograph recounts one of the most often referenced "rumors" surrounding Wilp's Futuro; that after being removed from Wittlaer:

Futuro Wittlaer - 2"the UFO also served as a chill space for researchers in the Arctic."

This is however purely rumor and there is no evidence to support this. Perhaps the rumor got started when people referenced the photo at right which shows Wilp at the top superimposed above a photograph of a Futuro on a mountain slope surrounded by snow; this Futuro however is the Dombai Futuro. The rumor may have gained more traction as people erroneously linked the story to reports and photos of Futuros in the Arctic; those actually referred to the "Googies" which are commonly reported to be Futuros but are actually something completely different.

Futuro Wittlaer - 1

Two other interesting photographs can be found not on the web but rather in the book Dazzledorf; they show Wilp with his Futuro and a large group of "house guests" and the Futuro as "wrapped" by Christo. The images below are taken from my copy of the book.

Dazzledorf Pages 82 & 83

Dazzledorf Pages 84 & 85

As is mentioned earlier Bayer gifted Wilp his Futuro House. Bayer also used a Futuro House in the ad seen below. The ad is not actually for the Futuro House but it uses the Futuro to promote their plastics. Achim Breiling who sent me the photo [thanks Achim] tells me the headline reads "If you see this holiday home in an astronaut look ... remember Bayer".

bayer Futuro Ad

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Tampa, Florida is currently home to one Futuro House that sits atop a strip club at 2309 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33607. In times past that was not the only Futuro in Tampa. There was one located on the southwest corner of Semmes and Juneau Streets at 8216 N Semmes St, Tampa until the late 1990's [28°1'25.84"N 82°26'30.69"W].

The website reports that:

"This particular Futuro was originally purchased by an elderly lady named Gwendolin F. Zerby. She flew to Finland and bought one of the original Futuros made there. She had it shipped it back to Tampa ... Mrs. Zerby lived in this Futuro for about 10-12 years, until her death. Then in 1979 the property was purchased by a gay couple for $16,000 ... No one lived in the house for most of the 90's and then the city issued a demolition order for the structure in 1998-1999 ... for various reasons that seem to have been related to illegal activities being carried out on the premises at the time."

I have never seen a photo of this Futuro; if you have or know of one I could use [or even just see] I would love to hear about it. Though it is not particularly clear the Futuro can be picked out on imagery from Google Earth dated 012395; that's about as close to an image of it as I can get to date.

Ex Futuro - Semmes Street, Tampa, Florida - Google earth

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In the early 1970's there was a Futuro located in Larrakeyah, Darwin, Australia near the site of the old Darwin Hospital, Larrakeyah.

Though it may have been a pure coincidence and nothing to do with the presence of the Futuro a May 2004 Cinema Program called "Experimenta House Of Tomorrow" featured a "documentary on the Finnish designed Futuro Home of the 1960s" as part of a program titled "Utopian Promises". A copy of a flyer for the event can be found here.

The image below was taken August 1974. Within months of the picture being taken the Futuro would be destroyed. has another picture taken about the same month here.

Futuro, Darwin, Norma Burns

Flying Saucer House | Burns, Norma | Norma Burns Collection | PH0832/0059
© Picture NT | Northern Territory Library, Australia

Over the course of Christmas Eve into Christmas Day 1974 the city of Darwin was devastated by Cyclone Tracy. Wikipedia has this to say about Cyclone Tracy:

"Tracy killed 71 people, caused $837 million in damage (1974 AUD) and destroyed more than 70 percent of Darwin's buildings, including 80 percent of houses.[4] Tracy left more than 41,000 out of the 47,000 inhabitants of the city homeless prior to landfall and required the evacuation of over 30,000 people."

The Darwin Futuro was among the casualties of Tracy and given the catastrophic nature of the storm on the city it is hardly surprising that the Futuro was not recovered/repaired and so, although there is no documented evidence stating for certain that the Futuro was demolished/destroyed it is almost certain that that is what happened.

The Northern Territory Library has two archived images of the Futuro taken after the passing of Tracy; these can be seen below. It is clear from the pictures that the Futuro was very badly damaged; in the second picture note how far the upper section has been thrown from the partial base of the Futuro which can be seen above the roof section almost dead center in the photo - that certainly gives at least an idea of the level of violence tracy unleashed on the city of Darwin.

Futuro, Darwin Post Cyclone Tracy 1

NAA: A6180, 30/1/75/35 | Image Dated 1975

CC  © Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) 2012
Futuro, Darwin Post Cyclone Tracy 2

NAA: A6180, 30/1/75/36 | Image Dated 1975

CC  © Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia) 2012

That very limited information is all I have been able to find to date on the Futuro that spent its short life in darwin. If you know anything about it or have other images I would love to hear from you.

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Added 080212

There was a Futuro House located on Jalan Bukit Pantai, Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia until it was demolished in 2003.

The image below is the only one I have been able to locate and is courtesy of the Bangsar Gospel Center [though the image no longer appears to be accessible on the site any more].

Futuro, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Once I started looking for information on this Futuro it quickly became apparent that though there was very little information on the web there were a couple of clues.

  • In a newsgroup posting to soc.culture.malaysia in September 2005 [located here] "tadpole" wrote:
    • "Not sure of this becos it's so long ago but when it was first built the word was that it belonged to the owner of C.J. Doshi, the department store in Jalan TAR"
  • In a discussion under the heading "Part One: Death Of Modern Architecture" "lyceum" mentions the Futuro in passing:
      "Take the Richard Meier house along Jalan Bukit Pantai in Bangsar, KL... it's a house but at first glance it looks like an office building.... does it matter? Does it make it any less of a house to its owner? Hell, he wanted Richard Meier to design his house and he got what he wanted! Does it effect the sensitivities of the yuppies who travel up and down that road every day? Does it effect its neighbours (one of whom has a UFO perched on its front lawn)?"

A look at the Richard Meier Website gave me an idea of what the referenced house [commissioned 1997 and completed 2003] looked like and so it was off to Google Earth to see what we could see. Though the imagery is not particularly clear having an idea of what the Meier House looked like together with the name of the street, Jalan Bukit Pantai, and the fact that the Futuro was located on a neighbor's property allowed me to establish that the location of the Futuro was 3°7'30.82"N 101°39'58.24"E despite the poor satellite imagery.

The screenshots below are from Google Earth. The first from imagery dated 010601 shows what I believe to be the Futuro. Though the imagery resolution is poor as an added level of confidence the "ruler" tool indicates the size of the object is correct. In addition the site is just to the north west of the Meier House [still under construction - completed 2003] which qualifies it as a neighbor.

The second shot is based on satellite imagery dated 021504; the Futuro is gone, land to the north west of the house has been cleared and the building on site has clearly changed; not entirely sure if what we see is the old not yet completely demolished or the new under construction.

The final view is the latest from imagery dated 040610 and this clearly shows the new property that was constructed with the Futuro long gone.

Futuro, Kuala Lumpur, G/Earth 1

Futuro, Kuala Lumpur, G/Earth 2

Futuro, Kuala Lumpur, G/Earth 3

So it seems pretty clear that the Futuro is no longer there; but was it moved or demolished? Mainly as a result of searching for information on C.T. Doshi [complicated by the fact that the original reference in the newsgroup was to C.J. Doshi] the answer was tracked down in a 2003 article by Dennis Chua in the Malay Mail. The article is accessible via and it confirms demolition of the Futuro as well as providing the following information:

  • The Futuro was indeed on the Jalan Bukit Pantai property of [the late] C. T. Doshi which was completed in 1973 and demolished 2003.
  • At the time of the visit by the articles author to the site all that was left standing on the site:
    • "... was the futuristic guest house which the tycoon, who died in 1996, introduced to Malaysians in conjunction with City Day in 1972."
  • The Futuro House was imported from Australia in 1972.
  • The unit was exhibited by Doshi at the Enviro 2000 exhibition on futuristic living at Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka to commemorate City Day in 1972 before being placed on the Jalan Bukit Pantai property.
  • The property was sold by the Doshi family in the mid 1900's and it has changed hands at least one more time since then.
  • The author of the article was unable to contact the current [at that time] property owner for comment.

The article concluded with the following:

"Monuments exist to remind us of our history, and their preservation cannot necessarily stand in the way of development."

"Landmark house built by Doshi is now ..." Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. 2003.
Retrieved August 02, 2012 from accessmylibrary:

I am not entirely sure I agree with the author's sentiment; I believe monuments must be preserved and development can more often than not take place somewhere else. I guess I would have to concede that what could be open for interpretation and is largely subjective would be what does and does not constitute a "monument" that ought to be preserved - my opinion is that the Futuro House does.

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