Architecture

18th century "seaweed house" hits the market in Denmark

18th century "seaweed house" h...
House of Andrine dates to the 18th century but the seaweed roof shown was only recently installed
House of Andrine dates to the 18th century but the seaweed roof shown was only recently installed
View 16 Images
House of Andrine measures 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft)
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House of Andrine measures 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft)
House of Andrine's bathroom includes a shower, toilet, and sink
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House of Andrine's bathroom includes a shower, toilet, and sink
A shot of House of Andrine's bathroom
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A shot of House of Andrine's bathroom
House of Andrine's bedroom
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House of Andrine's bedroom
House of Andrine's bedroom
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House of Andrine's bedroom
House of Andrine's home office
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House of Andrine's home office
Judging from the photos, House of Andrine has quite low ceilings
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Judging from the photos, House of Andrine has quite low ceilings
House of Andrine is heated by a wood-burning stove
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House of Andrine is heated by a wood-burning stove
House of Andrine's dining room
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House of Andrine's dining room
House of Andrine's dining room
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House of Andrine's dining room
House of Andrine's interior measures 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft)
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House of Andrine's interior measures 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft)
House of Andrine recently underwent a significant restoration
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House of Andrine recently underwent a significant restoration
If you fancy spending the night in the House of Andrine, it's currently up for rent on Airbnb
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If you fancy spending the night in the House of Andrine, it's currently up for rent on Airbnb
House of Andrine is currently up for sale, costing DKK2,648,000 (roughly US$415,000)
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House of Andrine is currently up for sale, costing DKK2,648,000 (roughly US$415,000)
House of Andrine dates back to around 1790 
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House of Andrine dates back to around 1790 
House of Andrine dates to the 18th century but the seaweed roof shown was only recently installed
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House of Andrine dates to the 18th century but the seaweed roof shown was only recently installed
View gallery - 16 images

18th century residents of a small island in Denmark called Læsø didn't have enough resources to top their houses with thatched or wooden roofs. Being practical types, they used what they did have in abundance: seaweed.

Technically, it's not clear whether House of Andrine is made from actual seaweed or if eelgrass was used – it's similar to a layperson but there is a difference (eelgrass is a plant and seaweed is algae). As of writing we're still awaiting confirmation.

Læsø is home to a total of 19 so-called "seaweed houses" (as well as this modern one) and while House of Andrine dates back to roughly 1790, its roof was only recently installed as part of an extensive renovation that also sought to make the home more comfortable for modern tastes.

The roof consists of some 32 tons of seaweed (or eelgrass, as the case may be). We chatted to a representative of Adam Schnack, who is selling the home, and were told that it should offer very good insulation and last about 50 years.

House of Andrine is heated by a wood-burning stove
House of Andrine is heated by a wood-burning stove

Inside, the House of Andrine is quite large, with a total of 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft) of floorspace, all on one floor. The original kitchen has been retained, but a new one was also installed in order to provide modern conveniences like an oven, kettle, and sink. Elsewhere lies a living room with wood-burning stove, dining area, office, bathroom with shower, toilet and sink, and a single bedroom.

The house has all the old-school charm of a proper cottage with its uneven walls and, judging from the photos, low ceilings. There's also quite a bit natural light inside, especially for such an old home.

If you fancy spending the night in the House of Andrine, it's currently up for rent on Airbnb. It's also for sale, with an asking price of DKK2,648,000 (roughly US$415,000).

Source: Adam Schnack [in Danish]

View gallery - 16 images
2 comments
jesper
A better link to see about the restauration and to see a little of what they thatched the roof with: http://www.andrineshus.dk/fotos-fra-restaureringen-af-andrines-hus Unfortunately (for You) it's in danish - not that it bothers me as I'm born and raised here in Denmark. But the pictures of the restoration needs no translation ;o) But as an angler, I have read something about the sea around Læsø; it's hampered (for an angler) by ealgrass. And the whole building style indicates that it was a poor man's house - build by whatever was available from land, forrest - and sea. A traditional building style here, and even if was the cheapest possible materials - we still have surprisingly many of them in use.
michaelhest
I know the houses as we have summerhouse on the island. To my knowledge these roofs can actually last for up to 400 yrs, provided they are properly maintained.