architecture · design · Nature

Norway’s Grassy Rooftops

Boing Boing is an awesome filter for culture and science enrichment! Heck the whole site is enriching. Once again they deliver, with this choice nugget from Norway: rural Norwegian homes whose roofs have been given over to the traditional turf — and even small forests.

Image from Amusing Planet

Turf roofs in Norway are a tradition and you will see them everywhere. Roofs in Scandinavia have probably been covered with birch bark and sod since prehistory. During the Viking and Middle Ages most houses had sod roofs. In rural areas sod roofs were almost universal until the beginning of the 18th century. Tile roofs, which appeared much earlier in towns and on rural manors, gradually superseded sod roofs except in remote inland areas during the 19th century. Corrugated iron and other industrial materials also became a threat to ancient traditions. But just before extinction, the national romantics proclaimed a revival of vernacular traditions, including sod roofs. A new market was opened by the demand for mountain lodges and holiday homes. At the same time, open air museums and the preservation movement created a reservation for ancient building traditions. From these reservations, sod roofs have begun to reappear as an alternative to modern materials.Every year, since 2000, an award is also given to the best green roof project…

The Grass Roofs of Norway (via Geisha Asobi)

Farm buildings in Heidal, Gudbrandadal, Norway
Image via Wikipedia

They remind me a little bit of the houses built by SunRay Kelley (my father-in-law)…

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