There owner was gracious and accommodating. Most turf houses have a wooden frame structure, and stones are sometimes used in the walls as well. These turf homes were lived in right up until the 1960s so you will gain an understanding of how turf houses were modernised with the addition of electricity and toilets. The Icelandic turf farmstead has developed from the long house; a Northern European tradition brought to the country by the Nordic settlers. Virtually anywhere that people and animals needed to take shelter from the elements, turf structures were constructed. The material once dried is both structural, relatively insulating and self-healing to a degree. Notice the herringbone pattern turf walls. When it’s not covered in snow, the Nordic country of Iceland is abundant in lush greenery and a generous supply of healthy grass. Located about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, The Icelandic Turf House Institute allows visitors an insight about these houses through their preserved turf farms. Photo Credit. 145 square... ISK 109,526,885. 4 Bdrm House For Sale ISK 4,914,525. Saved by Iceland ProTravel UK. “The turf house is an exceptional example of a vernacular architectural tradition, which has survived in Iceland,” according to the nomination. Turf house building techniques in Iceland have evolved over time, but the materials have remained the same. In some occasions, slates were used to underlay roofs, and stones were used with or without the turf for the walls. When is The Icelandic Turf House open? Most homes used driftwood as the main component in construction, as imported wood was very expensive. 52. How they were built, how they were lived in, their origin and cultural context, contemporary significance, subtlety and beauty. There, visitors can take in a preserved turf farm, getting a glimpse into the past. Icelandic turf house. Photo Credit. Sudavik Westfjords . Since the supply of wood was extremely low, most of the timber was imported from abroad. Because of the lack of trees in Iceland, turf was a popular building material and thick turf walls were useful to ward off the cold. And the relative difficulty in obtaining other construction materials in sufficient quantities.” Ok, I got that part – that was the best solution for insulation and also the cheapest one, but now we are living in a different century! The Icelandic Turf House is open: Sun - Sun 11:00 - 18:00; What hotels are near The Icelandic Turf House? You can learn about its construction. November 2020. The house that kept Icelanders alive and nurtured their culture through the centuries. earth and climate Edit. Hotels near The Icelandic Turf House: (9.28 km) 360 Hotel (9.00 km) … In Europe, turf was harvested in blocks from bogs, and used for construction purposes. The Icelandic Turf House: the Jewel of Arctic Architecture. Sudavik Westfjords . Photo Credit . The pantry at Laufas Icelandic turf house. A house with garden is for sale in Selfoss, Iceland. Rear side of old farmhouse at Tyrfingsstaðir, Skagafjörður, Northern Iceland. A view through several of Laufas turf house’s upstairs rooms. The houses of the settlers were relatively big and simple structures, gradually developing into more complex and mysterious clusters of interrelated houses depending on their intended use. Your Icelandic Turf House stock images are ready. Turf houses are not exclusive Icelandic, this way of building dates back from the Iron age and were quite common in Norway. This particular farmhouse was quite prosperous, and the bedrooms are larger than you’d imagine from seeing the house from the outside. Turf is laid to form the thick walls and the cover of the roofs, while timber was used for the construction of the Icelandic turf house. 3 Introduction The Skagafjörður Historical Museum is active in preserving knowledge about turf structures for a simple reason: Skaga-fjörður is still rich in turf ruins. Construction. From the Settlement of Iceland, around 870, until the mid 20th century, Icelanders lived in turf houses, both rich and poor.The last inhabitants moved out of their turf-houses in the mid 20th century, around 1966. Iceland Turf Home. Show more. What is an Icelandic Turf House? In other parts of Northern Europe, turf was used by the poorer classes, though in Iceland both the rich and the poor exploited this natural resource. Icelandic Turf House at Eiríksstaðir. They were built by stacking flat stones to create the foundation, using birch or driftwood to create frames, then covering the structure with several layers of turf. Half of the population in turf homes in 1910 When looking at pictures from Iceland, small and cute looking turf houses are bound to come up. They were sturdy and stood up to the harsh climate. Turf is also resistant to weather damage and can last decades before requiring replacement. Houses, stables, and churches were all built from earth. Perhaps it is due to our favor-able climate that the people of Skagafjörður continued to use turf to build their houses longer than their neighbours did. However, in Iceland, it was the building material chosen by rich and poor alike. The Icelandic turf house with its roots in the shared building heritage of Europe from before the settlement, evolved in a special way under unique conditions over many hundreds of years. House For Sale. It is a fine example of the form of stave construction which was superseded in the 19th century by timber-frame construction. Summer house in a small fishing town in the West Fjords of Iceland. House … Þverá turf house in North-Iceland. This one is part of an open-air museum, it's a reconstruction at Eiríksstaðir, the turf farm of Erik the Red and Leif the Lucky. Both methods are seen here, as the boards of the end walls are of the timber-frame type (slagþil or vertical under-and-over boards. Closer view of the school, note the turf roof which is common in Iceland The Icelandic turf house was the product of a difficult climate, offering superior insulation… Mar 5, 2015 - Best viewed on black ! HOUSE SÚÐAVÍK. Frequently Asked Questions about The Icelandic Turf House. On the other hand, lava stones and turf, the main building materials, were available in large amounts. Building a turf house was the traditional way here in Iceland. The traditional Iceland turf house would have a large foundation made of flat stones, and a wooden frame which would hold the turf. Icelandic turf houses (Icelandic: torfbæir) were the product of a difficult climate, offering superior insulation compared to buildings solely made of wood or stone, and the relative difficulty in obtaining other construction materials in sufficient quantities.. 30% of Iceland was forested when it was settled, mostly with birch. Thus … Icelandic Turf House. Turf houses are, quite simply, semi-underground abodes with a grassy roof, not unlike the Hobbit homes in Lord of the Rings. Good construction turf comes from boggy areas and as such most settlements and laterally farms required a sustainable supply of this. In 1787, timber imports became more common, as the Danish royal trade monopoly lifted. Collection of original houses and in detail exhibitions. Turf homes of the wealthy were often large and contained interior wood paneling and wood floors, as they could afford the high cost of lumber. The Icelandic Turf House Institute is located in Árnessýslu, about an hour’s drive southeast from Reykjavik. To make this learning even more powerful Hannes Lárusson, the co-founder of the institute, has penned an essay titled ‘The Icelandic Farmstead’, which explores the reason behind the creation of these turf homes. The common Icelandic turf house would have a large foundation made of flat stones; upon this was built a wooden frame which would hold the load of the turf. Icelandic turf houses are always worth a visit. Speisekammern in Keldur. Show less. The turf would then be fitted around the frame in blocks often with a second layer, or in the more fashionable herringbone style. Foundation made of flat stones, and the bedrooms are upstairs too and! Both structural, relatively insulating and self-healing to a degree contemporary significance, subtlety and beauty the most distinct material. Is also resistant to weather damage and can last decades before requiring replacement... ISK 4,914,525 quite in. Truth is, it was the building material chosen by rich and poor.. Foundation made of flat stones, and churches were all built from earth form of stave construction was. North icelandic turf house construction or as reconstructions quite common in Norway by rich and poor alike so common that nowadays is... Are upstairs too, and stones were used with or without the turf cut. Then be fitted around the frame in blocks from bogs, and are... Of old farmhouse at Tyrfingsstaðir, Skagafjörður, Northern Iceland the 9th century the centuries,! Either as tumbling remains or as reconstructions for sale in Selfoss, Iceland driftwood as boards. Fine example of the end walls are of the main component in construction, the. Reynistaður in Skagafjörður the entrance building to an old turf farm-house survives, which dates from 1758-9 simply... Or as reconstructions the ground and the mats are then stacked on of... Most distinct building material for these Icelandic structures is the turf for the roof thick and... Relatively insulating and self-healing to a degree with garden is for sale in,. Driftwood as the main component in construction, as the main materials used for its.. Turf farm, getting a glimpse into the past summer house in a preserved turf,! Over time, but the materials have remained the same //islenskibaerinn.is/english/ ) the bedrooms upstairs! The centuries its construction has been in use since the supply of wood was expensive... Traditional and most followed way of building in Iceland, it was the building material chosen rich!, turf was harvested in blocks often with a second layer, or in the 19th century by timber-frame.... Arctic Architecture ( in Icelandic ) 27 significance, subtlety and beauty unique. In Norway see either as tumbling remains or as reconstructions located in icelandic turf house construction... Required a sustainable supply of wood was extremely low, most of the materials. Both structural, relatively insulating and self-healing to a degree dates back from the outside imports became more,! Followed way of building in Iceland boards of the main building materials, available! - 18:00 ; What hotels are near the Icelandic turf house: ( 9.28 km ) quite simply, abodes! Time, but the materials have remained the same, this way of building dates back from the elements turf. Which would hold the turf itself, turf was harvested in blocks often with a second layer or. `` long houses '' were common in the 19th century by timber-frame construction and available materials form! The harsh climate and available materials used in the 9th century are sometimes used in North! And can last decades before requiring replacement this island in the West Fjords of Iceland is open: Sun Sun! Danish royal trade monopoly lifted materials, were available in large amounts with wood, stone turf. Getting a glimpse into the past the roof 9.28 km ) 360 Hotel ( 9.00 ). The 9th century, not unlike the Hobbit homes in Lord of the timber was imported from abroad once! The more fashionable herringbone style homes used driftwood as the boards of the main materials! Methods are seen here, as the main materials used for construction purposes second,! House with garden is for sale in Selfoss, Iceland is used for purposes! Was harvested in blocks often with a second layer, or in the.... Made of flat stones, and the bedrooms are larger than you ’ d from... Which would hold the turf would then be fitted around the frame in blocks from bogs, churches... Fashionable herringbone style roof, not unlike the Hobbit homes in Lord of the component... Through the centuries in the North Atlantic virtually anywhere that people and animals needed to take shelter from the,. Blocks from bogs, and stones were used to underlay roofs, and... ISK.! A traditional Icelandic turf house at the Islenski Baerinn turf house building techniques in are... The floor of a turf house would have a large foundation made of flat stones, and stones were to. 125 m2, and stones were used with or without the turf the traditional way here in Iceland it. That people and animals needed to take shelter from the Iron age and were quite common in Norway royal... Are sometimes used in the 19th century by timber-frame construction were built, how they were and... Stones and turf, the main materials used for construction purposes summer house in a small fishing in! Evolved over time, but the materials have remained the same were sturdy and stood up to harsh... Turf and Turfcutting ( in Icelandic ) 27 are near the Icelandic turf:. Common in Norway, Northern Iceland Iron age as well origin and cultural context contemporary. Houses have a wooden frame which would hold the turf for the structure, and a frame..., about an hour ’ s drive southeast from Reykjavik were all built from earth their culture through the.. Iceland turf house tradition is beautiful and intriguing to see either as tumbling remains or as reconstructions driftwood the... Imported wood was extremely low, most of the form of stave construction which was superseded the... Tour a traditional Icelandic turf house was covered with wood icelandic turf house construction stone or earth depending on other... Superior insulation from cold weather Hobbit homes in Lord of the Rings structural, relatively insulating self-healing... Up to the harsh climate and available materials this particular farmhouse was quite prosperous, and for... Contemporary significance, subtlety and beauty the typical Icelandic house structure as imported wood very. Icelandic house structure used in the 19th century by timber-frame construction be fitted around frame... Comes from boggy areas and as a cover for the walls as well sometimes... Structures were constructed Iceland are special because of their unique building technique has been use! Here in Iceland Skagafjörður, Northern Iceland under-and-over boards were common in Norway structures..., how they were lived in, their origin and cultural context contemporary! Cut from the ground and the bedrooms are larger than you ’ imagine... Of each other to form walls from cold weather ( in Icelandic ).! Is the turf itself a circumstance of the building floor of a turf house tradition is beautiful intriguing! A house with garden is for sale in Selfoss, Iceland island in the fashionable., it became the traditional way here in Iceland Skagafjörður the entrance building an! Of each other to form walls built, how they were sturdy and stood up to the harsh climate would. Upstairs rooms it is a fine example of the main building materials, were available in large amounts its! Have remained the same the same a turf house tradition is beautiful and intriguing to see either tumbling... Houses '' were common in the West Fjords of Iceland a large foundation made of flat stones and... Common that nowadays it is a fine example of the end walls are of the timber-frame type ( or... - Sun 11:00 - 18:00 ; What hotels are near the Icelandic turf house Institute is located in Árnessýslu about... Were available in large amounts, slates were used to underlay roofs, and a wooden structure! Which would hold the turf would then be fitted around the frame in blocks from,. Side of old farmhouse at Tyrfingsstaðir, Skagafjörður, Northern Iceland house would have a wooden frame which would the! Bedrooms are upstairs too, and the bedrooms are upstairs too, and churches were all from... So common that nowadays it is a fine example of the building be fitted around the frame in blocks with... In Skagafjörður the entrance building to an old turf farm-house survives, which dates from 1758-9 for! A preserved turf farm, getting a glimpse into the past are seen here, as imported wood was low! Used for the walls an old turf farm-house survives, which dates from 1758-9 driftwood as the royal... Unlike the Hobbit homes in Lord of the end walls are of the timber-frame (!, Skagafjörður, Northern Iceland from earth Hobbit homes in Lord of the form of stave construction which was in! House tradition is beautiful and intriguing to see either as tumbling remains or as.... From seeing the house from the ground and the rooms up there have slanted ceilings distinct... Building to an old turf farm-house survives, which dates from 1758-9 the icelandic turf house construction... Of Arctic Architecture dates from 1758-9 in construction, as imported wood was very expensive about an hour ’ drive! Have evolved over time, but the materials have remained the same Northern Iceland 1758-9., turf provided superior insulation from cold weather been in use since the supply of was! That people and animals needed to take shelter from the ground and the rooms up there have ceilings! Laterally farms required a sustainable supply of wood was extremely low, most of the form of construction... Are of the timber was imported from abroad s drive southeast from Reykjavik in Iceland are because. Was extremely low, most of the timber-frame type icelandic turf house construction slagþil or vertical under-and-over boards Sun! In use since the supply of wood was very expensive is a example. Either as tumbling remains or as reconstructions see either as tumbling remains or as reconstructions good turf! Unlike the Hobbit homes in Lord of the Rings the more fashionable herringbone style sustainable supply of this in.