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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Contemplating the Yurt

Well, no photos, but I thought I'd share my mental activities for the past few days. Physically it's been all clean up and clean out, plus never-ending phone calls to make various arrangements. Except when I've been contemplating the yurt.

In case you don't know, the yurt (or ger) is the traditional Mongolian nomad dwelling. It's round, made of thick felt over a latice wall and beam ceiling with a beautiful wooden door, and it's pretty cool.

There are several companies that make them (not of felt, though) right here in North America:

Colorado Yurt Co.
Yurts by Rainier
Blue Ridge Yurt Co.
Pacific Yurts

Your basic yurt has wood lattice walls, 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 rafter beams, and a compression ring at the center that acts like a keystone but in the round--a keyring, if you will. They're generally covered with vinyl or acrylic-coated heavy-duty fabric, but a couple of companies have kicked it up a notch and use beautiful wood siding:

The Yurt People
Oregon Yurtworks

I ran across the American version of a yurt in Mother Earth News Homes, which I picked up because of the articles on affordable storage and solar power and hot water. It was in an article about building your own home.

So, a yurt. Hmmmmm. You can insulate a yurt very easily. And it's very open. And airy--a 30-foot yurt (diameter) is about 7 feet tall at the perimeter and soars to 12-13 feet high in the center. And you can add windows, either fabric screen windows or actual double-hung windows. A yurt.

You know, a yurt could make a fabulous studio. How easy to hang up a design wall?! and samples. It can be plumbed and electrified. If you build it on SIP even the floor is insulated, and it's endlessly configurable. And out of the house. And even Bob and I could put it together!

So if we can't find the home of our dreams that has a studio integral to it, perhaps we can find the home of our dreams with a largish lot and build a yurt. Of course, convincing Bob that it would be a good idea won't be easy due to his assumptions and preconceived notions, but maybe if I bribe him with peanut butter and chocolate he'd at least listen long enough to get the facts.

Anyhow, just knowing it's a possibility is great. Knowing that wherever we go my studio could come along would be a wonderful feeling. If I ever want to do retreats a yurt would be a great dormitory. And how cool for family and friends who are visiting?

And so I contemplate the yurt.

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