The Borohus Virkesmagasin

Earlier this Spring, in Landsbro, Sweden, I visited a truly remarkable structure: a drying shed for timber which locals call Arken or Noah’s Ark. I believe it is properly called the Borohus Virkesmagasin. Borohus was one of Sweden’s biggest house factories in the 1930s–80s, and virkesmagasin means warehouse. You might think of it as a cathedral of lumber; it certainly had that feeling. What a powerful space.

Hilding Brosenius, a structural engineer, designed the building and he seems to have invented this type of nailed timber beam. I estimate these are about 20-feet deep! The structure was built in 1946–47. With a footprint of 38 x 165 meters, it is said to be Europe’s largest timber building.

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Here is a 1940 article (in Swedish) by Brosenius describing the method, which he called HB-balkar.

Here’s a similar but apparently smaller structure by Brosenius dated 1953.