Thought pattern overview:
Growing forest -> Pole construction -> decorative Hawaiian lashing techniques -> Japanese minka houses -> longhouse -> Viking langhus.
A longhouse is probably the simplest timber frame building, though it may also include lashed members as well. In the development of early wooden structures, the rectangular longhouse was directly preceded by the circular earth lodge. The primary benefit of the longhouse was its easy expandability. Variations on this basic structure exist in indigenous cultures throughout the world. My favorite examples are of the Viking "langhus". At Qassiarsuk in Greenland there is a reconstructed langhus (interior1, interior2). The method of construction of a Viking langhus is called "grindverk", and is intended to provide a strong frame. The basic repeating form, structural honesty, usefulness and durability of a longhouse have made it a favorite for centuries.
For more information:
Grindverk (langhus construction) and page 2
Langhus adapted for camp use
Fachhallenhaus (German longhouse)
Diagram of joint as cut from poles
A site with pics of sheds and page 2
Prosjekt Synleggjering, very nice
High quality examples:
Idyllic and sod covered
The buildings... are constructed using the ancient "grindbygg" technique. Timber post, "stav", and beam ,"bete", corners are braced by crossbeams, "broddeband". The frames form gate-like parts, the "grind", thus the term "grindbygg". These gates are raised up, (like in the Amish barnraising seen in the movie "Witness" with Harrison Ford), A beam, the "stavleie", lays across the tops of the gates connecting them, and then the roof beams, "sperr", are placed with corner frame joints at the peak. Then a plank roof is put on, followed by several layers of birch bark, topped with sod... The foundations of this post and beam, timber-framed building are usually a few flat rocks under each post... This whole building can go up with only a few workers and very little noise... The building is not tied into the ground at all. The foundation is basically non-existant. The whole building is instead self-supporting, made like a piece of furniture so it acts as a unit, like a box sitting on the ground.
Source: Norwegian Wood 2006