Wayback Machine 1971: The Venturo Prefab
There is really nothing new about many of the modern prefabs that everyone is going gaga over; back in the 70's Finnish architect Matti Suuronen designed the Venturo, a bit less extreme than his wonderful Futuro House. It appears to have been used primarily as gas stations for BP.
However they also marketed it for a number of other purposes, including recreational. "A lake, land and sea, a beautiful valley, incomparably compatible settings for your individualized Venturo. This is real vacation living- and you get it instantly, maintenance free because Venturo's exteriors are in fibreglass, anodized aluminum and glass."
"The Venturo is described as a modular, easily transportable building system, having excellent insulation , low weight and designed for minimum assembly on site. Being of low weight and factory assembled, the Venturo means very low erection and foundation costs, where heavy equipment can be avoided."
The walls were double-skinned fibreglass with 2" of polyurethane foam, and the floors were an insulated composite beam of marine grade plywood. The whole thing weighed just four tons and sat on 16 small piers. One module contained the bathroom, kitchen and sauna; the other shipped with the filler pieces (c in the drawings). But back to the fun stuff.
"The spacious living room with its window walls gives you indoor-outdoor living, creating for you a lifestyle of your own."
"The compact kitchenette can be supplied completely outfitted with factory installed appliances."
"Friday night-everybody into the sauna and then a refreshing swim; the whole Saturday and Sunday in good company. What else is life for? It is all yours and incidentally, a sound investment within reach. Just call and we will help you with the rest."
If only prefab was so easy. According to Lars Ramberg, an artist who found a Venturo: "The house had been lying in a warehouse for decades, the ageing carcass of failed modernism. The Venturo was originally thought as a beach house or bungalow that could be transported and installed anywhere, thus fulfilling the modernist aim of being universal, not needing to respond to a particular context. Unlike other Suuronnen's designs (e.g. the famous 1968 "Futuro" house), the Venturo was a commercial flop and went quickly out of production."