Photographer's Note

The architecture of Iceland draws from Scandinavian influences and, traditionally, was influenced by the lack of native trees on the island. As a result, grass- and turf-covered houses were developed. Later on, the Swiss chalet style became a prevailing influence in Icelandic architecture as many timber buildings were constructed in this way. Stone and later concrete were popular building materials, the latter especially with the arrival of functionalism in the country. Contemporary architecture in Iceland is influenced by many sources, with styles varying greatly around the country.

Urbanization also began to appear for the first time around the 18th century, when Danish merchants set up permanent trading posts for themselves. The timber for constructing these residential and commercial premises was mostly prefabricated and imported. These timber-framed buildings had high pitched roofs and low walls, and they were tarred on the outside making them dark in appearance.

With the movement towards independence from Denmark and the implementation of Icelandic free trade, more diverse architectural styles and influences were brought to the island. Classical influences can be seen in timber buildings from the 19th century, these buildings were often two-storey and had higher walls. Details such as the layout of fenestration on the building drew from classical traditions.


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Additional Photos by Leszek Stefaniuk (jabumbum) Silver Note Writer [C: 4 W: 0 N: 392] (1242)
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