Modern Seaweed House Revives Tradition of Seaweed-Thatched Roofs

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Designed by Danish architect Tegnestuen Vandkunsten for client Realdania Byg, The Modern Seaweed House features the use of seaweed in thatch-like layers on the roof in a manner that has become a disappearing tradition on the Danish island of Læsø, where only twenty such historical houses remain.

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The benefits of seaweed cladding include thermal and acoustic insulation, durability, resilience to moisture, and resistance to vermin. When combined with a wood structure, it is possible for houses built with similar methodologies to have a negative carbon footprint because stored CO2 is greater than that of fabrication and construction emissions.

The seaweed roof implementation in this design varies on the traditional in that narrow pillows of local seaweed are wrapped in knitted nets and then applied to exterior walls and the roof. The industrialized and organic approach has the potential for mass production in locations where seaweed is in abundant supply.

Construction of The Modern Seaweed House reached final completion on Læsø island on July 4, 2013 and may still be available for sale at the time of this article’s publication.

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