How big are the houses in Groenland



The dwellings of the ancient Inuit were simple and easy to build because of the changing weather and the seasons. For 4000 years they lived in peat huts, in tents and now and then in igloos.

The building materials were driftwood, bones, and fur from the captured animals. Hans Egede's arrival in Greenland in 1721 marked the new colonial style, with wooden houses from Scandinavia being sent to Greenland as carpentry building sets.

This now colorful tradition with the characteristic colorful houses began back then. The colors were practical because they symbolized the function of the respective building. The trading houses were red, the hospitals were yellow, the police stations were black, the telephone company was green, and the fish factories were blue.


In the decades after World War II, prefabricated houses and apartment blocks dominated the larger cities, because living space had to be created in a limited space for the many residents who moved there.

The introduction of self-government in 1979 brought about a change in architecture, in which old and new were combined. In large towns such as Sisimiut, Qaqortoq and the new Nuuk suburb of Nuussuaq, people remembered the colorful wooden houses from the colonial era and built spacious and bright two- to three-story houses.

All colors were used, which is why purple, pink and orange could now also be seen in the streets.


The University of Greenland and the Nature Institute are breaking out of the ordinary with their caste structures. Three natural materials are intended to unite the campus with nature.

The cultural centers “Taseralik” in Sisimiut and “Katuaq” in Nuuk dare to appear as originals full of character. The waves of the northern lights were captured in Katuaq's architecture, which was decorated by the country's most important artists.


Many consider Nuuk's “Malik” swimming pool to be the most beautiful swimming pool in the Nordic countries. The wave-shaped roof reflects the Greenlandic name of the building, because “Malik” means “wave”.

From their position on the surface of the pool, bathers have a unique view of the fjord and the mountains, which are located directly behind the enormous panoramic windows.

The international top class of architecture also looks north. The Danish star architect Dorte Mandrup is designing the upcoming visitor center on the Ilulissat Icefjord and in Nuuk the Danish Bjarke Ingels Group has won the tender for the design of the country's future national gallery.

More articles on urban life in Greenland.