Better known as Googie buildings, the spacelike structures were in vogue during the 1960s—now only 68 buildings remain
Optimistic curves and sleek lines dominated design in the 1960s, driven by the space race and economic prosperity. Googie buildings swept the nation, John Lautner debuted his gravity-defying Chemosphere, and Finnish architect Matti Suuronen gave the world the Futuro house: a pre-fab, plastic-shelled holiday home resembling a flying saucer. Initially conceived as a portable ski lodge due to its ability to heat up quickly, the Futuro house was unveiled in 1968. Manufacturers produced 100 of them, but in 1973 an oil embargo caused the price of petroleum to soar, ceasing production. Only 68 remain today.
Futuro homes found other purposes, from a Navy recruiting office to a hamburger stand. Over the years, many were abandoned, and in lucky cases they were restored by architects or acquired by museums and modern art galleries for public enjoyment. Here are some of AD’s favorites.