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UPDATED 081013 | ADDED 100512 | TILDONK, BELGIUM | RETURN TO THE MAIN FUTURO HOUSE ARTICLE | RETURN HOME
10 Pastoor Lambertzdreef, 3150 Haacht, Belgium | 50°56'39.89"N 4°38'37.09"E | September 2006 - Currently In Storage Somewhere In Haacht
Featured Image www.monumentenstrijd.be | Date September 2006
Google Maps | Satellite Imagery Date 073109
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Video & Additional Images
Notes, History & Resources
The impressive photo below was taken by Original Rudie on 091107 and showcases not only the Futuro on display at MUDAM but also the very cool architecture of the exhibition hall itself. The photo is displayed under CC 2.0.
The two photos below are courtesy of the website parisdeuxieme.com.
So, one of the photos is of the Futuro, but what is the other I hear you asking and why display it here; this is a website about the Futuro House after all? The second photo is actually of a work by Mariko Mori titled "The Oneness Aliens" that was displayed at the MUDAM exhibition at the same time as the Futuro and Mori's "aliens" actually found their way into a photo with the Futuro House.
It is hard to get an idea of the scale of the "aliens" from the photo above so I cannot be sure if the photo below is real, the Futuro and the "aliens" posed around it, or a photo shopped image. The aliens are clearly Mori's aliens and whether real or photo shopped it makes for quite an interesting Futuro photo.
I found this photo a long time ago and I now have no idea where it came from. If you know the origin of this photo please let me know so I can provide proper attribution. Thanks.
If you would like to see more of the Futuro at MUDAM there are some high quality images in a gallery on the website Thomas Mayer Archive.
Original Information 100512
This video [and also the image above] is from the website www.monumentenstrijd.be. The original page no longer exists but it can still be accessed at the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine by using this link.
The video is in .wmv format. Depending on your browser and it's settings you may see am embedded player below. If you do not or the video fails to play it can be downloaded from here.
The image below is courtesy of a 090606 post on the blog The Players VW Bus Club.
The photograph below is by futurohouse and shows the Futuro in a partially assembled state. The photograph is dated 091006.
Update 081013Sources & Reference
Not that it will really interest anyone but the most obsessed of Futuro fans [like me maybe] because the Futuros have been gone for decades but the location where the Press Photo displayed further down the page that shows a grouping of three Futuros in Belgium in 1971 was taken has been identified - thanks Yves.
The photo below is a screenshot grabbed from Google Maps and clearly shows the same building and road configuration as seen in the Press Photo. The location is 50°47'18.64"N 4°25'14.94"E, to load this in Google Maps go here.
A little while ago I was sent a photo of this article - I cannot read it of course [if anyone can provide a transaltion it would be great] but it does clearly refer to this Futuro since it references the address Pastoor Lambertzdreef, 3150 Haacht.
It is not unusual to think you have figured something out about the history of a Futuro only to then find something else that suggests maybe you have not figured it out. I was quite certain that this Futuro was the one shown at MUDAM but now I have my doubts.
I recently purchased a copy of the Auction Catalog for the 2007 Christie's Paris Auction "Arts Décoratifs Du XXème Siècle Et Design" which was held on 112707 and included the auction of a Futuro House. That catalog, from what I would consider a very reputable source - one of the premiere auction houses in the world - indicates that the Futuro sold in Paris was the one displayed at MUDAM.
However all of the information I have indicates that the Futuro of Philemon Vanlangendonck was still owned by him long after the Paris auction. That would clearly suggest that while the MUDAM exhibition did feature one of the three Belgian Futuro's [a fact confirmed by the Christie's catalog] it was not the one owned by Philemon Vanlangendonck. For more information check out the catalog on my "Collection" page.
In 2007 there was an exhibition at the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art [known as MUDAM] in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg that featured a Futuro. The exhibition was titled "Tomorow Now - When Design Meets Science Fiction" and it ran from 052507 to 092407 [for a little more information see the MUDAM Facebook Page]. It is quite well documented but until today I was not sure which Futuro had been displayed.
The mystery of which Futuro appeared at MUDAM is however no longer a mystery. The Futuro was the Belgian Futuro owned by Philemon Van Langendonck. The evidence? A pdf file sent to me by Achim Breiling [and on the web here] lists the exhibits at the exhibition and on page 4 we find the following listing which quite clearly tells us that it was indeed the Belgian Futuro that was displayed at MUDAM:
"Matti Suuronen, Futuro Home, 1968-1969, Collection Philemon Vanlangendonck"
You can find a couple of photos of the Futuro at MUDAM at left.
Coincidentally on the same day Achim sent me the pdf file I also received in the mail the latest in my small but growing collection of things Futuro; an original press agency photo from August of 1971 showing a grouping of three Futuros in Belgium. Various references quoted below talk of three Belgian Futuros in the early 70's being at a single location [one of which was later the Futuro of Philemon Vanlangendonck] and this photo is almost certainly of that group of Futuros. It features a label on the back that carries the following text:
"AUGUST 31st. 1971. ... NOT 'FLYING SAUCERS' ... No - these are not flying saucers landing in Belgium, - but futuristic looking bungalows. They were designed by Finnish architect, Matti Suuronen, and made of fibre glass. ... H/Keystone ... /838111
Original Information 100512
The current precise location of this Futuro is unknown but it is believed that it remains in storage somewhere in Tildonk. The last confirmed location was outside Sint-Jan-de-Doperkerk, Tildonk in September 2006. The Google Earth Street View above [latest Google satellite imagery 073109] is of this location but the Futuro is not there; however by comparing the video and photos at left with Google Street View it is clear that this is indeed the precise location of the unit in September 2006.
Though many of the European Futuros are among the best documented this unit is one of the least documented and photographed. However we can establish something of the Futuro's history by taking a look at a scientific paper Reliability Of Ageing Composite Constructions authored by Peter Arras, Chris Peeters & Jan Ivens. In the document we are told the following:
The document also includes this very unusual photograph. Taken in 1999 prior to disassembly of the unit in preparation for relocation the photo shows the unit with wheels mounted to the bottom of the support struts; the wheels are oriented along the circumference of the unit which gives the impression that if they were for the purposes of moving the Futuro the only movement possible would have been rotational. It seems to me that going to the trouble of installing wheels just so the unit could be rotated is unlikely so I am forced to assume that the wheels served a purpose other than movement or that they were realigned somehow when the unit was to be moved. Of course making assumptions is usually a bad idea and I could be completely wrong on that!
The Belgian Newspaper De Standaard in an 082306 article titled "Een vliegende schotel in Haacht" [A Flying Saucer In Haacht] reports that three Futuros were imported to Belgium in 1970 one of which was "destined" for Philemon Van Langendonck. It is unclear whether Van Langendonck owned the Futuro throughout its life and simply moved it in 1999 or whether it was owned by someone else and purchased by Van Langendonck in 1999.
Interestingly the photograph that accompanies this article is actually the well known photo of the Danvers Futuro with a plastic alien riding a plastic flamingo in the foreground.
The Tildonk Futuro's "five minutes of fame" came in 2006 when it was featured in Belgian broadcaster VRT's project Monumentenstrijd in 2006 [translates to "Battle Monument" I believe]. An article on vrtfansite.be [Google Translation To English] tells us about the project [it is not clear to me from this article if the project consisted of a TV show or series of shows, online, print or some combination of the three]:
A report from Gazet van Turnhout [Google Translation To English] provides a little more detail. We read here that the project did involve a "series of broadcasts" [not clear to me if this was TV or radio] and that the prize for the winner was substantial; over 500,000 Euros.
A little more digging unearthed the chromart.weblog.nl article Dertig monumenten binden de strijd aan! [Thirty monuments join the battle! | Google Translation To English] which adds more information to the mix. Among other things we learn that:
So the question becomes this; did the Futuro win? The answer unfortunately is no. We could simply surmise that from the fact that the unit was not subsequently restored and is once again dismantled and in storage but no assumptions are necessary. On the Monumentenstrijd website [no longer up on the web but still accessible via the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine by using this link] we learn that the Futuro did not make it into the final 15 and that the eventual winner of the competition was the Stoomstroopfabriek [Steam Syrup Factory] in Borgloon.
A couple of other interesting pieces of information can be gleaned from the Monumentenstrijd website; one being a reference to "... three under Belgian license" when talking about Futuro manufacturing which appears to confirm the earlier referenced De Standaard report of "three Belgian Futuros". We also read this "De enige Futuro in België 'ligt' sinds oktober 2001 in Tildonk" which I believe translates to a statement to the effect that this is the only Futuro in Belgium since October 2001; unfortunately there is no mention of where the other two might have gone.
In the final document I have been able to dig up so far that refers to the Tildonk Futuro [a post from bloggen.be] we read that all three of the Belgian Futuros were, at least originally, located in Bosvoorde; specifically the article includes the following statement "Drie exemplaren hebben lange tijd in Bosvoorde gestaan" which Google Translate tells me reads "Three specimens have long stood in Boitsfort".
As stated at the beginning of the page the precise current location of this Futuro is unknown but recent emails suggest that it is almost certainly still disassembled and in storage somewhere in our near Tildonk. Any better or more recent information you might have would be much appreciated.
A note on translations; almost all of the information on this page is based on Belgian and/or Dutch language documents and webpages that have been translated using Google Translate so there may well be inaccuracies due to poor translation. Please let me know if you spot anything that is incorrect. Thanks.
Got new, updated or corrected information or an image I could use?
I am always looking for additional information, history, details, images, videos; just about anything Futuro I guess - if you would like to contribute please use the Futuro Contact Form at the bottom of the main article or email me.
As far as images go I am particularly interested in those that are either significantly better than the ones already on this page or show a different aspect or detail. If you own an image meeting one or both of those criteria I would love to be able to use it on this page but I will simply provide a link if that is your preference. Where permission is granted to use an image on the page appropriate attribution will be provided by means of a link to the original image, a link to a website of your choosing or both.