Reykjavík’s colourful, quaint, iron-clad houses are a source of constant fascination to visitors. But as well as being decorative, the material has a very practical use. The iron was first imported from England in the late 1800s for use in roofing, but it quickly became the material of choice for exterior walls, because beneath the resilient metal, most of these houses are built from raw timber. While sturdy, timber would suffer under the extreme weather conditions of the Icelandic winter, as well as being susceptible to fire. The corrugation or the metal lets the timber breathe, and the iron can be painted any way the owner likes, making for the mixed up Lego-like array of different colours.
Our resident videographer Timothée Lambrecq took a look around the town, and made this short film about the Colours of Reykjavík.
Colours of Reykjavik from Reykjavík Grapevine on Vimeo.
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