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Building a Traditional Norwegian Storage Building: Constructing the Skjelter

Course Overview

The Norwegian countryside is scattered with eye-catching wooden structures with sod roofs, steeped in the history of families making their living in the beautiful but harsh landscape. Reaching back centuries, each structure was designed and constructed for a specific purpose: storing grain, livestock, textiles, or even serving as the wedding night abode to name just a few. Restoring these historic structures requires craftsmen to use tools, techniques and materials appropriate to the period of construction and has generated a group of specialists who travel the country to work, study and occasionally re-create these buildings. North House is delighted to welcome traditional builder Trond Oalaan back to campus to teach two courses in traditional Norwegian techniques constructing a skjelter with a birch bark and sod roof.  

The Skjelter is a storage building with at least a 500 year history in northern Norway. The structure starts off with a scribed and notched log base. The main wall portion has corner and doorposts with removable vertical wall timbers that can be whole small logs, split logs, or planks. This wall construction technique has a long history throughout Norway and is related to that of the Stav Churches. The upper wall and gable ends revert back to scribed log construction. The course will be taught using traditional tools and layout techniques. Starting with round logs, students will peel, hew, notch and split the various parts of the building all while  learning the history, culture and techniques of traditional construction methods.

Course Details

Length: 10 Days