Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Back to the Future of Housing

     So Company you may have noticed that I have been strangely silent for the last few days.  And I am sure that you have enjoyed the break.  The reason for the silence is that I have been on vacation.  That is right, a long weekend vacation.  Baby Doll and I packed up the corporate jet and blasted off to the woods of northern Wisconsin for the weekend and stayed on a space ship.  That's right, we spent the weekend here.
     I have put a picture here for you just in case you are unwilling to click on the link.  The owners call it "The Pod" but its given name is Futuro.  It was designed by a Finnish guy in the 60s, and it shows.  Matti Suuronen designed the house for a Finnish doctor in 1965 as a ski cabin and before all was said and done it was being manufactured around the world, from Finland to South Africa to the United States.  There are about 100 still floating around worldwide, and there is a somewhat dedicated owners group.  And be dedicated owner's group I mean one guy who has a raging, mega-hard boner for them.  They are entirely self contained (sort of), and they offer all the amenities that one would want in a ski cabin sort of environment.  There is a three-burner electric stove with a broiler/oven/rotisserie combination thing attached, a dorm sized fridge, a dorm sized freezer, central heating and air conditioning, and a centrally located gas fireplace.  Also included is a full-sized bathroom with stand up shower, and a teeny tiny little bedroom with a teeny tiny pie-shaped bed.
     It is, however, not as small as I thought it would be.  I was thinking cruise ship sized bathroom, but it was full sized and featured plenty of space.  The bedroom was really little but it would be comfortable for one person.  All you do there is sleep there anyway.  The living room, however, is gigantic.  There is a huge wrap around couch with these giant ottoman sort of things that you can use to turn it into a giant bed.  I would totally live there if I were a bachelor living all by my lonesome.  There is lots of room to entertain, even if it would be a little bit of a chore.
Couldn't you see Shatner trying to get
some tail in this living room?
     I am not going to lie, the interior design is a little bit dated.  It was considered to be futuristic at the time it was developed, and it would be considered retro by today's standards, but it screams 60s when you look at it.  When I saw the first pictures of the interior I thought to myself "I bet that's what William Shatner's living room looks like" (turns out he has a log home type deal) but I bet that what it looked like back in the 60s.  It's cool, and it turns out to be remarkably cosy.
     There are lots of little quirks, too.  Like the coolest entry in the history of ever.  The door opens and lowers down to show a set of steps, and it does it automatically and electronically with the push of a button.  The owners of the one we stayed in had installed a screen door at the top of the steps which created a sort of vestibule area, which was nice because the windows don't open.  That is a bad quirk.  There are lots of windows in the Futuro but they are all oval shaped and they don't open.  I understand that they were designed to be ski cabins but airflow in them is zero, or at least it would be without that nifty screen door attached.
Tourism bureau beautiful pic of the lake.
     So that is where we were, and that is what we were doing during the silence.  The good news is that you don't have to go to northern Wisconsin in order to see a Futuro for yourself; they are kind of just randomly peppered around the world.  There is one in central Illinois somewhere; Pensacola, Florida; Sweden; Finland; New Zealand; South Africa, they are all over the place.  You just have to look around for a while.  But the northern Wisconsin one is on a lake and it is for rent and to be honest, we had the most wonderful time there.  So check it out.  You can live in the version of the future from the past, if that makes sense.

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