In the 19th century Norwegian sawmills started to produce ready-made houses in kit form for export. Norwegian businessmen established in Seyðisfjörður started importing these buildings — both as homes, business premises and public buildings. The many preserved, colorful, Norwegian-style wooden houses covered in corrugated iron, render Seyðisfjörður unique in Iceland.
Import to Iceland of corrugated iron from England began in 1870. First it was used on roofs mainly, but soon the locals also started to clad walls with it in order to protect the timber. After the turn of the 20th century, following "Bruninn mikli" or "the Great Fire" that destroyed 12 houses in central Reykjavik, regulations were changed to avoid further catastrophes. Regulations demanded fireproof material fo rbuilding and corrugated iron provided the perfect shell. Light, strong, resistant and inexpensive, the corrugated iron also protects the timber beneath from harsh weather conditions, while letting it breathe, thus providing a natural ventilation system of sorts.
The photos in this compendium are depicting gables rather than facades of the buildings, showing the ease with which a wooden structure can be penetrated with windows — or covered up. The forms, the rythms and the proximity of the mountains are exceedingly playful.
Forlaget Space Poetry
architecture, Danish, Iceland, Norway, zine
Digitally printed. Pamphlet bound.
Jørgensen, Åse Eg, "Kompendium 37" (2018). Rollins College Book Arts Collection. 69.