Earthen Yurt


Posted by Jeffrey | Posted in Earthen Yurt | Posted on 23-06-2012

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Project led by: Kiko Denzer
Location: Aprovecho, Cottage Grove, OR
Date: August 2012

This earthen yurt was built as part of the ‘sustainable shelter series’ at Aprovecho.

The yurt is made from site harvested bamboo, lashed together using recycled bailers twine. It features a reciprocal roof, meaning that every beam is supported by all the beams in front, and in turn supports all behind it. (A fantastic analogy for community!)
The walls slope outwards to create more space around head height, this makes the space feel much bigger.
We made a wattle from the left over bamboo leaves and created a lime daub using horse poop from a neighbors stable. The yurt sits on top of a 10ft octagonal deck and future plans for it include a wrap around deck area and living roof.

The beauty of the yurt is the circular space it contains, we live so often in box shaped houses with box shaped rooms. The yurt’s smooth curving walls contain no dark, empty, corners and creates a calm place to enjoy.

The project made me think a lot about the underused power of the circle in architecture and society.

earten yurts bamboo frame

The bamboo framework

How the bamboo is attached

The bamboo framework anchors into the deck

the wattle is woven into the yurt framework

The wattle is woven into the yurt framework, notice the tire which aided the raising of the reciprocal roof

Yurt reciprocal roof

The reciprocal roof

yurt roof circles

Fun with circles – part of the incredible building team

Daub applied to the yurt

The daub is applied to the inside of the yurt


Comments (4)

How many sq feet is this and would you be posting pictures of the insides? This is Awesome!!!

I really love this project! I’ve visited the Apro site a couple of times this summer and loved being able to see this up close and personal. I’m heading to Colombia, South America later this week. Do you know any good projects or things happening down that way? I’m trying to research all the possible bamboo building techniques. Love the work Jeffrey


So much good work here Jeffrey and friends. Our future depends on sensible and sensitive practices like the ones that you are demonstrating.We seem to be in the hands of some thoughtful and compassionate people. You will hopefully be our leaders in time.

Just found your site through pintrest, some real natural eye candy!!!

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