Danish Wonder: Houses made from seaweed


By Tomasz Sienicki, via Wikimedia Commons

Once upon a time in the land of Hans Christian Andersen, on the eel-grass-draped Danish island of Læsø, trees were few. To build houses the people used a resource that was available in spades: seaweed. It took them a long time to create these structures but the thatch was made from seaweed. The interiors were made from the wood from shipwrecks. Today, unfortunately, only about 20 of them remain.

According to the Visit Læsø site, today, when eelgrass washes ashore, the remaining owners of these houses scramble to shorelines to collect it. There just isn’t enough to go around anymore. Changing sea patterns wiped out the seaweed. It is coming back and a seaweed bank in the area is used to collect the eelgrass that is of the right quality for the buildings.

Not quite the end

Realdania, a philanthropic organization, commissioned a Modern Seaweed House, which was successfully completed by the firm Vandkunsten in 2013 (pictured below).

It takes the littlest world wonders to make me want to visit a place. While Denmark never really called to me before, this little fact from the island of Læsø has me looking at ticket prices.



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