Suomi Weirdness in North Texas

Long story short, the opportunity arose a few weeks ago to shoot a concert at The Bomb Factory in the Deep Ellum district of Dallas. I saw this as a fantastic opportunity to do some rural urban exploration before hitting the show.

Some background details: I recently took a trip to Arkansas with my kid's freshman class, and while gazing absentmindedly through the bus window somewhere northeast of Dallas, I saw a freaking UFO.

  Or something like one.

Or something like one.

This being the smartphone era, I quickly dropped a Google Maps pin. Google, being Google, offered a link to a bizarre website dedicated to The Futuro House. I read on with puzzled fascination. To quote from the Wikipedia article
 

The Futuro house was a product of post-war Finland, reflecting the period’s faith in technology, the conquering of space, unprecedented economic growth, and an increase in leisure time. It was designed by Matti Suuronen as a ski cabin that would be “quick to heat and easy to construct in rough terrain”. The end result was a universally transportable home that had the ability to be mass replicated and situated in almost any environment.
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The plastic construction also meant an untimely demise for the project; the oil bust of 1973 took place just five years after the prototype was constructed. It's estimated that fewer than one hundred were built, and that fewer than sixty remain. 

Texas has three. And two of them are just a few miles from each other. 

So when the editor of Sonic Perspectives asked me to photograph a concert  in Dallas (full disclosure: I pleaded with him), I took the opportunity to inspect the Royse City Futuro House more closely.

Needless to say, the thing has fallen into disrepair over the years. It's also met more than a few vandals; I personally don't mind graffiti on abandoned structures (tagging is what I hate), but I would absolutely love to see some actual muralists do some work on this weird thing.

Be warned. There is some grossness in this graffiti, but nothing terribly graphic. 

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  I love that this looks like a mandala. The middle of the house has had its floorboards yanked; I lay my camera directly on the crossbeams and delayed the shutter by twenty seconds so I could get out of the frame. I used my 8mm fisheye, but I unfortunately need a wider lens to get all the windows completely in the frame. Another time. 

I love that this looks like a mandala. The middle of the house has had its floorboards yanked; I lay my camera directly on the crossbeams and delayed the shutter by twenty seconds so I could get out of the frame. I used my 8mm fisheye, but I unfortunately need a wider lens to get all the windows completely in the frame. Another time. 

After photographing Finland's weirdest architectural import in the morning, I photographed Finland's most famous musical import in the evening. Meet Nightwish, the band responsible for finally making operatic symphonic heavy metal actually sound good.

 

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