I’ve always been interested in the Futuro homes, designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. Built from plastic and initially meant to serve as a secondary home, it was soon looked at as a possible primary home. The Futuro home looked like a flying saucer. The private and open spaces of a traditional home were fused together so that the couches doubled as beds, as did several chairs. This led the authors to describe the Futuro as having a heightened sexuality about it.
In the book about the the Futuro house by Mike Tanila, it was noted that in the promotional advertising, women were the hostesses, akin to to flight stewardesses of the 1930’s. The exterior of the home could be viewed as a womb, and the interior fireplace and stove pipe could be considered phallic. The absence of traditional decorum also exuded that devil-may-care attitude of the late 60’s.
From 1956 to 1970, Playby magazine commissioned several conceptions of ideal bachelor pads, and one of them was the Futuro, with a couch that could “sleep two drunks comfortably.” This was a “hideaway, and it was clear what recreation it was best suited for.
It is no surprise then, that on a recent trip to Florida I discovered what I believe to be a Futuro house at a strip club near Tampa, FL. I was at Sonic getting a burger and a limeaid with my wife and son. As we pulled out of the driveway I saw it and my jaw dropped.
I pulled over to take pictures and explained to my wife why I was taking photos of a strip club. I then noticed a man changing some of the signage and approached him, as my wife shook her head in disbelief. He told me that was the “bachelor pad” and that it’s reserved for “special parties”
He had worked there for over a decade but couldn’t recall how long the flying saucer had been there or where it came from. Was it really a Futuro modified into a “bachelor playhouse”? I would’ve loved to find out, but somehow… well… I tried to imagine the look on my wife’s face when I told her that I was going inside. For research. Needless to say I realized this was a bad idea, and went back to the car, still grinning at this unique find.