One look at the rugged terrain of the Faroe Islands and you’re instantly transported to the latest fantasy television show where moss coats the roofs of handbuilt cottages and clicking hooves replace the sound of car engines. Danish engineer, Ole Vanggaard and Faroese architect, Kári Thomsen worked together to build their own cluster of prefabricated cottages in Kvivik, a hamlet cozied up in the hills of the Faroese landscape.
Named the Kvivik Igloo, the tiny, prefabricated houses perch the hilltops of Kvivik, overlooking the bay and surrounding mountains. Designed to look like tiny hobbit cottages, each Kvivik Igloo is built with a hexagonal frame and design elements meant to echo the past. Lined with asphalt panels, the Kvivik Igloos can sprout grass and greenery from their roofs and sides to really transport residents into their favorite hobbit fairytale. The igloo’s living roof not only adds to its charm but also to the tiny home’s sustainability factor, creating a heightened nesting place for birds and woodland creatures alike. Underlining their sustainability efforts, the builders use passive house construction practices and natural materials to build the Kvivik Igloos, including wood, glass, aluminum, and rubber. Chimneys also punctuate the top of each igloo’s roof, suggestive of a wood stove or fireplace. Steel framed windows form grids on the exterior of Kvivik Igloos, sweeping the entire span of some facades and merging the brisk outdoors with the cottages’ cozy insides.
Known for their strength and staying power, igloos have operated as a form of dome sheltering during winter months for many Inuit and Eskimo people for as long as they’ve existed. The angled structure of the Kvivik Igloo makes it so that the interior walls, floor, and ceiling converge, producing inclined skylights and a tall interior height. The cloudy white sunlight in Kvivik filters through the igloo’s handmade glass windows and skylights and gives the interior an antique air.
Designers: Ole Vanggaard and Kári Thomsen
Located in the Faroe Islands, Kvivik Igloos are built with hexagonal frames and plywood exterior panels.
The angled windows of Kvivik Igloos produce inclined skylights and allow sunlight to filter through the handmade glass surface.
A concrete foundation provides a sturdy base for the Kvivik Igloo to rest atop.
Colorful steel frames border the windows and give Kvivik Igloos a whimsical air.
All windows, doors, and window frames are handmade offsite and measure to fit the igloo’s preferred size.
A grass roof coats the tops of Kvivik Igloos, echoing the builders’ commitment to sustainability and nature.