About Yurts

What is a yurt?

It's a tent!

Traditionally called a Ger in Mongolia, yurts and circular tents like them have housed people in Central and East Asia for thousands of years.

The portability and easy assembly of their homes was, and continues to be, crucial for nomadic communities. This tradition in minimal footprint is indeed what give yurts their true beauty. A yurt is, first and foremost, a tent. And nothing short of the quintessential structure that represents natural harmony and living lightly on the earth.

For most of our ancestors anywhere on earth, home was once a circular dwelling. The first circle inscriptions are petroglyphs believed to be 40,000 years old - making the circle one of our oldest fixations. Yurts naturally call on that deep well in us. You can’t help but feel good when you step into a Yurta. It’s evolutionary biology. And we guarantee that you will love being in our space.

More than “the round”

But it’s not just about the shape - it’s about the architecture. As a building, the yurt is one of the most ingenious structures ever designed. The essence of a yurt is a conical roof that is fixed to a structural lattice wall which acts as a spring. This monolithic structure of cone and spring means there are no individual elements. It is exceptionally efficient at distributing loads because the entire structure is always working together.

Strong but minimal? We assure you, our ancestors are still teaching us.

About 50 years ago north american yurts started to appear and this venerable tradition was jammed into the very north american business of mass producing fabric tents with cheap and available materials. These modern “McYurts” are a confusion of Mongolian tradition and North American building perspective. A brilliant 1000+ year old design was made worse in just about every way, and then copied by makers everywhere.

The traditional Mongolian Ger (and its counterparts) is a marvel of engineering. Mongolian yurts may not be designed for long-term performance in the humid north american climate. And they may lack important functionality for contemporary use. But they retains an intelligence that cannot be ignored if we care about the design of beautiful and minimal spaces.

That is the heart of the Yurta system.

Composition of Our Yurts

As tents, yurts are lightweight structures. With some planning, their minimal footprint allows you to achieve a strong, year-round shelter with minimal site preparation.

A yurt’s anatomy typically includes the following components.
Each element shown may not be required depending on the particular shelter, the site and the needs of users.

Dome
the “tonoo” was covered by fabric, vented via guylines from the ground
corkscrew mess like skylights
includes a slick operable acrylic dome over a round central compression ring made of solid wood.
Outer Fabric
canvas, not too waterproof
impermeable and toxic
is weatherproof, maintainable and breathable. The only consideration is breathability. Look for how your roof attaches to your wall.
Windows
usually, no windows
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Chimney Vent
in the middle of the space, between two pillars
out the wall like a house
chimneys vent through the roof like traditional, but we clear the central space, and push the chimney to the side to open the space.
Felt
multiple layers of thick felt
canvas covers are hung to hide the plain bubble-wrap insulation typically sealed around the frame
combines the best of traditional and contemporary materials. 100% wool felt is needled to a radiant layer. This thermal and radiant capacity makes it an excellent lightweight insulator that is completely breathable.
Frame
is framed with a structural circle, cone on cylinder. Our frames are full natural hardwood, which is flexible, beautiful, and on display.
Door
doors are crafted from clear furniture grade cedar.
Floor
usually two pads for a family to migrate to through the seasons
: build or buy a floor from us.
Deck
not usually employed
North American building standard poured footings
decks are built with a minimal footprint, using freestanding Octopad construction.