The Modern Seaweed House
Abundant construction resource
For many centuries, trees were scarce on the island of Læsø in Denmark. But seaweed has always been abundant on the beaches, so the small island formed the basis of a several hundred-year-old building style, using seaweed as a construction material.
At one stage there were hundreds of seaweed-clad houses on the Island, but sadly now only around 20 remain. This has prompted architecture studio Vandkunsten and non-profit organisation Realdania Byg to create the Modern Seaweed House, built in wood, covered and insulated with seaweed.
Seaweed is the ultimate sustainable material
We first heard about the seaweed house in an article in Dezeen magazine, published October 2013. Realdania Byg's Jørgen Søndermark told Dezeen,
"[Seaweed] reproduces itself every year in the sea, it comes ashore without any effort from humans, and it is dried on nearby fields by sun and wind. It insulates just as well as mineral insulation, it is non-toxic and fireproof, and it has an expected life of more than 150 years!
"By using seaweed in the construction, we not only secure the continued supply of seaweed for use on the historic houses, we also reintroduce a material to the modern building industry which is CO2-reducing, environmentally friendly and sustainable in a broader sense.
"Our project has demonstrated that seaweed has remarkable acoustic properties. This creates surprisingly comfortable rooms, while the ability to absorb and give off moisture contributes to regulate the indoor climate."