In 1968, a Finnish architect designed what would become a controversial but iconic example of mid-century architecture, inspired by the post-war futurism and space exploration. The Futuro house was all set for mass production around the world, marketed as the ideal “portable” ski chalet or beach house, promising to change the way we lived.
Some 100 examples were built, attracting media and local curiosity wherever they were installed, but alas, the “Futuro lifestyle” never really caught on (more about why here) and it’s estimated that today only 60 of the original prototypes survive, mostly in very poor condition. So imagine our surprise when, what looked like an incredible 21st century revamp of the long-forgotten Futuro house came onto our radar?
Meet the Airship2 (there are two prototypes so far), currently stationed in a village in the Highlands of Scotland and available to rent on Airbnb for just £400 over a full 3 day weekend…
Much like the Futuro house, the insulated aluminum pod with its dragonfly windows is designed to be easily constructed and deconstructed anywhere – all the components of the robust frame can be carried by two people. Regardless of road access, the DIY- friendly pod designed by Scottish architect Roderick James, could even be installed with wheels or floats for waterways, lochs or lakes. It’s also potentially suitable for flat roofs in cities, in gardens or in the woods, on shorelines, canals and rivers.
Aiming to put more fun and informality back into building, Roderick James believes that contemporary architecture is losing its spontaneity and says the “fear of litigation makes architects wary of trying new materials and ideas”.
While the practice isn’t proclaiming to reinvent the way we live, like so many of the architectural utopian pipe dreams of the 1960s, the architects of the Airship have been clever enough to market their prototype through Airbnb, the fastest-growing consumer-facing online travel marketplace. The property has since gained “super home” status on the platform and the reviews speak for themselves.
The Airship2 is now available to rent in Scotland on Airbnb. If you like what you see, these babies will set you back somewhere in the order of £100k and Roderick James Architects are currently developing the two bedroom model.