Alison and Peter Smithson , House of the future, London, UK, 1956

Alison and Peter Smithson , House of the future, London, UK, 1956

Alison and Peter Smithson, House of the future, London, UK, 1956

The ‘House of the Future’ was a progressive idea for a modern home created out of plastic for the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition in London in 1956. [1] The project was created by Alison and Peter Smithson for the 1956 Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition, London. The main concept was to anticipate the lifestyle of the year 1980, by constructing the housing prototype of a plastic composite and referenced contemporary innovations in airplane construction. Each room is a functional unit, formed as one continuous piece of plastic. The latest equipment – such as central heating, air conditioning, colour television, dishwasher, compact cooking appliances, and a self-washing bathtub and shower with a warm air drying system – was integrated within the walls. During the exhibition, actors in specially-designed futuristic costumes “performed” for visitors who watched through apertures.

In spite of its forward-looking integration of new technologies, the overall composition of the house consciously refers to ancient precedents. Its complex moulded shapes are analogous to the carved caves of Provence, while the interior garden was inspired by the atrium houses of Pompeii. Without exterior windows, individual units were meant to be joined to create a compact community.[2]






J. Zeinstra, Houses of the future , OASE 75;

[available on the Internet, acces 19.03.2014]:


Reviewed March 2017 by:

Yue Shang

Xiaolin Lu

Lizhongyang Zhou

Adelina Muntean


smithson-1956-House of the future_2