It has round windows going all the way around its middle, probably used to look at all of the humans and farm animals below.
“Why would aliens want to stop here?” you might ask. Well, the truth is, this isn't a flying saucer created by extraterrestrials. No, it's designed by an architect! This Earthling's name was Matti Suuronen. Born in Finland in 1933, in the 1960s and early 1970s, he designed a type of house that's now the focus of a small but dedicated group of fans—the Futuro House (also known as a Futuro Pod).
At first created for a ski slope location in Finland, the house was meant to be used as a portable ski chalet. However, the fact that it can be set up in pretty much any type of terrain means that it has become a wacky dwelling for fans of Suuronen and his vision of the future.
The appearance and construction of the Futuro House was inspired by the huge advances in technology of the early Space Age and the optimism of that time, too. They were meant to be simpler to build than other houses, easier to manufacture in large quantities. Futuro Houses are ellipsoid in shape. Everything is neatly contained in one space and is completely off the ground with the help of legs and platforms. The entry to the house is from below, through a staircase. They're made of fibreglass reinforced plastic, which is “light and easy to transport to remote locations, easy to construct once on site, and efficient to heat and cool,” as explained by the non-profit organization Preservation New Jersey. This efficiency is similar to the ideas of military and spacecraft engineers.
What's special about the Futuro House in Estonia is that it's the second ever made in the world. “Futuro 002”, as it's called, was the first Futuro House to make a large public appearance. This was on the River Thames in London, England in the year 1968 (as part of the 1968 Finnfocus-Export Fair).
Futuro historian Simon Robson has collected information and photographs of Futuro 002's life, including its eventual move back to Finland, and then to Pärnu, before it came to Matsalu.
The Futuro House near Matsalu isn't a full-time home. In fact, as of December 2021, it was taken apart and renovated. Still, people have been known to live in these houses. One man, Ronald Jackson, runs a vacation home rental in the desert of Joshua Tree, California. Here, guests can enjoy “glamping” in a fancy Futuro House, complete with heating, a comfy living room, and an automatic door.
Despite the current excitement about the Futuro House design, it never became a mainstream success. According to Designboom, less than 100 of these houses were ever built, and only 63 of those are still around. For example, it proved unpopular to local people when the first Futuro House was placed near to simple cabins by Lake Puulavesi, Finland.
But this was many decades ago—perhaps it's time to re-approach the idea of a futuristic house! Now that you've read about this unique design, maybe you are up to the challenge of designing something of your own?
If so, Eesti Elu wants to see your drawings and ideas for what the perfect portable house would look like. It could be a portable home that is inspired by Estonian ideas. Maybe something that would fit right into a forest, on a bog, or on the shores of the Baltic Sea.
Send a drawing and a short description of your design to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll share the best submissions with this article online at eestielu.ca!