by Hugo Shackleton

Egholm, Denmark


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A proposal for a wetland and accompanying lodge on the island of Egholm, Denmark.

A land of nuanced topography, smooth transitions and incessant winds, Denmark is perhaps most marked not by mountain range or forestry, but by its moors and marshlands.

Remains of Stone Age dolmens tell of an ancient fascination for the powers hidden in pools, ponds and lakes, while Bronze Age Danes are known to have been largely seafaring.

In the context of Iron Age climate cooling, communities began building strong, warm shelters and adopted the more reliable life of agriculture. Across the entire country, livestock and farmer took refuge under one roof in what would become a little-evolving archetype.

Few invasions of, or migrations to, the harsh Nordic territory have cemented the survival over centuries of the ‘Danske Bondegård’, a basic yet telling monument to Denmark’s historical preoccupation with rural sustainability.

As a vernacular form, farmyards employ a series of practices that are in their very nature, sustainable.

Modular structural elements allow both for the use of smaller pieces of raw material (timber lengths) as well as for ease of assembly and part replacement. Locally sourced materials whether reed, lime, granite or seaweed permit a practical upkeep of the building over time.

This regional character of farmyards produces mutations in their structure, envelope and layout depending on location. That being said, for its abundance in agricultural landscapes, grass found particularly prolific use in the roofing of farm buildings.

On the island of Egholm, low-lying farmland and their accompanying dwellings are threatened by rising sea levels and the erosion of their protective dikes.

'Wet Lodge' asks how the introduction of marshland might inform an evolved farmhouse design while adapting the natural landscape to deal with encroaching waters.