Saturday, February 19, 2011

House No. 50: Viking Långhus

House No. 50: Viking Långhus
ink, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper, digital layout
8.5 in. x 11 in.
050/365; 02/19/11

Viking houses were as rough and tumble as one might imagine.

Generally, the longhouses were constructed as one large room. The structure was constructed of wood or peat blocks with wooden planks placed on the inside of the walls. Oftentimes the roof of the longhouse was covered with turf. Furs and skins lined the room to keep it warm. Frequently, one end of the structure was used as a barn.

I think the structure resembles an overturned viking ship. Perhaps that is the way the building evolved. Or maybe the structure worked so well as a watertight vessel that it would be only natural to invert it to keep out the elements. Or maybe the building technique was just what they were used to. What do you think?