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Jumilla, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When UFO Homes Were Almost Considered Ski Lodge Alternatives

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Jumilla, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When looking for a place to stay during a ski vacation, most people might think of rustic lodges with decor accents inspired by the pioneer days. Finnish architect Matti Suuronen had a different era in mind when he designed the Futuro Home in the 1960s: quirky, futuristic structures that looked like the flying saucers pictured in cartoons. At least 64 of these UFOs for humans can be found scattered across the globe, confusing passersby and intriguing lovers of retrofuturism.

The project to build these Jetsons-esque ski chalets was commissioned by Dr. Jaakko Hiidenkari, who was looking for buildings that could be built in Finland and relocated to rocky, mountainous areas. Taking inspiration from the alien-obsessed culture of the time, Suuronen decided to make round homes with built-in seating and a hatch entrance at the bottom.

Despite the lack of corners or hard edges, each Futuro Home still has a bedroom, bathroom, fireplace, and living room. And although there's only one bedroom, each home can reasonably fit eight people, if the guests are willing to sleep in the living room. The shape allows for an electric heating system to heat the home from -20°F to 60°F in half an hour, according to Curbed. There's also a fireplace in the living room for extra warmth and ambience.

The small homes may have had some amenities and a space-age aesthetic, but the true selling point was how the design could be mass-produced quickly and cheaply; the first Futuro Home only cost between $12,000 and $14,000 to slap together, which made it an economically appealing alternative to ski lodges. Each structure is made up of 16 prefab pieces that can be transported and assembled on-site, similar to IKEA furniture. Raised legs—another distinct UFO feature—allow the buildings to stand up on all terrain.

Unfortunately, the oil crisis of 1973 proved to be a formidable obstacle—it caused a major spike in the cost of plastic, which is a key ingredient in the homes. With an inflated price tag, the homes lost their appeal.

Futuro Home production might have ended a long time ago, but that doesn't mean people have forgotten about the charming lodging. TheFuturoHouse.com documents the locations of these homes. According to their website, at least 80 to 100 of these unusual buildings were created. Though some have been destroyed and others are still hidden, about 64 Futuro Homes are still around, and at least 15 of those are in the United States.

While this architectural wonder might not have taken off, you can see other attempts at capturing alien chic, like with these bauble homes in Holland.

[h/t Curbed]

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iStock
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architecture
One Photographer's Quest to Document Every Frank Lloyd Wright Structure in the World
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iStock

From California’s Marin County Civic Center to the Yokodo Guest House in Ashiya City, Japan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence spans countries and continents. Today, 532 of the architect’s original designs remain worldwide—and one photographer is racking up the miles in an attempt to photograph each and every one of them, according to Architectural Digest.

Andrew Pielage is the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s unofficial photographer. The Phoenix-based shutterbug got his gig after friends introduced him to officials at Taliesin West, the late designer’s onetime winter home and studio that today houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Higher-ups at Taliesin West allowed Pielage to photograph the property in 2011, and they liked his work so much that they commissioned him for other projects. Since then, Pielage has shot around 50 Wright buildings, ranging from Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, to the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles.

Pielage takes vertical panoramas to “get more of Wright in one image,” and he also prefers to work with natural light to emphasize the way the architect integrated his structures to correspond with nature’s rhythms. While Pielage still has over 400 more FLW projects to go until he's done capturing the icon’s breadth of work, you can check out some of his initial shots below.

[h/t Architectural Digest]

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Made.com
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Art
What the Homes of the Future Will Look Like, According to Kids
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Made.com

Ask a futurist what the house of tomorrow will feature and she might mention automatic appliances and robot assistants. Ask a kid the same question and you’ll get answers that are slightly more creative, but not altogether impractical. That’s what Made.com discovered when they launched Homes of the Future, a project that had kids draw illustrations of futuristic homes that served as the basis for professional 3D renderings.

According to Co.Design, the UK-based furniture retailer recruited children ages 4 to 12 to submit their architectural ideas. The doodles, sketched in pen, marker, and colored pencil, showcase the grade-schoolers' imaginations. Paired with each picture is concept art made with a 3D illustrator that shows what the homes might look like in the real world.

The designs range from colorful and whimsical to coldly realistic. In one blueprint, drawn by Ameen, age 10, a neighborhood of rainbow buildings and flowers float among the clouds. Another sketch by Ellis, age 7, shows a “home built to last” with titanium, bricks, a steel roof, and bulletproof windows. Some kids seemed less concerned with durability than they were with the tastiness of the infrastructure. Cherry-flavored bricks, candy windows, and a giant jelly slide were just some of the features built into the future homes. Sustainability was also a major theme, with solar panels appearing on two of the houses.

Check out the original artwork and the 3D versions of their ideas below.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Made.com.

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