Puffins, vikings, and ponies aside, some of Iceland’s most iconic imagery comes from corrugated iron houses.

Being a volcanic island doesn’t leave many options in terms of building materials.  Trees tend to be shrimpy, there isn’t a lot of non-volcanic stone.  After reading a bit of “Corrugated Iron:  Building on the Frontier” by Adam Mornement & Simon Holloway (and by a bit I mean what popped up on Google Books.  How cool is Google Books?) I learned the British brought boatloads of the stuff over starting in the 1860s.  The durability and fireproof-edness made the corrugated iron a big winner for homes, businesses, churches, and anything else you didn’t want to fall down, blow over or be eviscerated in flames.

Not content with standard iron colors of gray or gray, Icelanders got creative. There are lots of whites and browns and blacks.  But here’s a little rainbow trip through some of the other houses we’ve seen in Reykjavik.

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