20 stunning space-age retro futuristic home concepts from the ’60s

LIFE Apr 12, 1963 future house

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In this ad series for Motorola, commercial artist Charles Schridde (1926-2011) depicted modernist homes of the future, apparently based on plans designed by several well-known architects.

Of course, the ads all prominently featured Motorola’s stereos, televisions and other electronics, and appeared in national magazines during the early ’60s.

As you will see on these two pages, Schridde’s talent perfectly captures the era’s sleek futurism style and space-age optimism in each of his illustrated designs.

For more retro futurism, you should also see this! The home of the future: Space-age inventions (1958-1961)

1. Round ultramodern glass house with a city skyline view

This modern high-rise dwelling makes it possible to “get away” from the city without leaving it.

Curved glass window wall forms a panoramic view of the city and surrounding countryside. Reflecting pool and shrubbery add warmth to ultramodern room setting, accented by dome ceiling.

Space age: Retro futuristic homes

2. Modernist home along the ocean

This double-deck cliff house combines the rugged beauty of the seacoast with relaxed contemporary living.

Space age: Amazing retro futuristic homes of the '60s designed by Charles Schridde

3. Futuristic home with a glass dome roof, by Charles Schridde

Being “king of the mountain” is a grown-up reality for this young couple. Their contemporary cliff house, hung around a solid rock pinnacle, gives them a commanding view of both the village and the sea below.

Super futuristic home from the 1960s

4. Retro modern space-age home over a brook

Peace and solitude should be no problem for this young couple. Their dramatic hideaway over a creek is hung on canted pre-stressed concrete buttresses.

Space age house decor from Charles Schridde

5. Retro futuristic house with an underwater view

Here’s architect Leon Deller’s design of a modern “rec” room — using presstressed concrete walls and ceiling, and large aquarium windows that look directly into the backyard swimming pool.

Modern rec room with aquarium

The retro-modern space-age house: The Home of the Future at Disneyland & other lifestyle predictions ('50s & '60s)

6. Three-story open-plan lake house

Reminiscent of sailing ships past, this contemporary “crow’s nest” summer home gives this couple an unusual lookout from which to plot a course of summer fun.

Waterfront home designed by Charles Schridde

7. A floating spiral staircase

Suspended on cables, this magnificent spiral staircase gives the impression it floats in mid-air above the reflecting pool. The kids are more interested in what they’ve found under the tree. Naturally.

Vintage architecture concepts

8. Glassy multi-level retro futuristic home by the sea

Glass futuristic retro building

9. Working out in the pool room

Keeping the family fit in the winter is no problem in this home with its solarium-recreation room. Movable tinted panels allow privacy as well as a sun shield in winter and summer. The TV is Motorola’s newest portable on a decorator-styled roll-about cart.

Swimming pool and modernist home

10. Dancing on the cantilevered deck, high in the hills

Retro vintage house and porch design

11. Retro-futurism, family style – with a hanging TV

In this unusual country house design, the TV set is suspended in a free-hanging mobile that pulls up or down and turns any direction to allowing viewing from every part of the room. Motorola remote TV makes it practical — lets you operate the set without leaving your chair.

Retro modern country house

12. Modernistic style with television front and center

Center of attraction in this attractive apartment living room is the entertainment carousel. Sliding tambour doors hide the portable TV when not in use. Carousel can also be used for portable stereo or radio, snacks or refreshments.

Futuristic home by Charles Schridde

The first family of the future: The Jetsons (1962)

13. Modern glass and stone house overlooking nature

Here, prestressed structural elements and bold use of glass allow a panoramic view of a very thoughtful site selection from every point in the room.

Retro futuristic homes and designs

14. Retro futuristic homes: Outdoors with a modern feel

Futuristic home drawing by Charles Schridde

15. On the edge of the land and the sea

The people who live in this house are obviously partial to ultra-modern things. They must also set great store by reliability, because they depend on the sea tides to fill their swimming pool.

It isn’t surprising, then, that they have a Motorola TV in their living room, because Motorola reliability has become the standard by which knowing people judge television sets…

Charles Schridde - Ultra modern sea house

16. Early American furniture in a modern style

This interpretation of Early American styling blends the simplicity and character of a colonial home with the bright, open architecture of today. The recessed conversation spot recaptures some of the snug comfort of the Early American hearthside.

Modernism home style from the sixties

17. Sleek home with earth tones & a Native American motif

Here is architect Leon Deller’s version of a modern oasis in the southwest desert. The window walls and skylights create a spaciousness and beauty that’s especially appreciated by the Sunday painters. Motorola’s TV-Stereo Hi-Fi combination if taken from Drexel’s Declaration grouping.

Futurism home style

18. Backyard living among the trees

Backyard living among the trees

19. Modern in the countryside

This country living room, created by Eyvind Earle, achieves an exciting linear pattern through the imaginative use of glass walls, louvered doors, and wooden beams.

Modernist home illustration by Charles Schridde

20. Dancing behind glass

Dancing behind glass

Live Jetsons-style in the home of tomorrow! Ideas for retro-futuristic space-age inventions (1958-1961)

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Comments on this story

One Response

  1. So much glass, so little privacy! I guess the architects didn’t take into consideration the homeowners walking around in their unmentionables (or less!), or the fact that these would be a nightmare to cool in the summer and heat in the winter (I’m sure the assumption was that anyone who could afford these houses could easily afford the energy bills). Also, it’s funny how nearly every illustration features a tiny black-and-white TV front and center. Granted, they were high-tech back then, but in our age of widescreens, they look almost pitiful. Nonetheless, these are all really cool designs.

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