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In the article “On Sustainable Architecture”, i mentioned that it has begun to be emphasized that a construction now called as sustainable since 1990’s  an organism contributing cultural and economical background of the area beside with its morphological properties. It is highly possible for us to follow the news about imposing, mature and well-designed projects built in sterile environment on printed publications and web. I will try to touch upon local examples as well as these projects…

So today, I wanted to write about maybe the first sustainable prefabricate houses in the history; Yurts. Houses of nomadic nations, Yurts which are easy to mount and dismount in a short time are perhaps the first prefabricate constructions in history.  These yurts are weather- proof, cool in summer and warm in winter. They have amazing engineering and architectural characteristics.

 

They are usually built on round-floors in the shape of a large bell. The roof design creates an incredibly strong and resilient structure that is uniquely equipped to withstand earthquakes, strong winds and heavy snow loads. Being round; yurts make better use of space than their rectilinear counterparts, are more efficient to heat, and provide less wind resistance. The roof structure, with its compression ring and tension band, is an amazing architectural design providing a great deal of strength and requiring no internal support system, thereby leaving the yurt open and spacious inside.

Even a yurt in which 5 to 10 people may live can be mounted in approximately one hour and dismounted in another hour. Dismounted yurts also takes up pretty little space.  A yurt carried by one or two horses or camels in past can even fit into the trunk of a middle class car of today. Even though the construction principle of yurts is very easy. First of all, a wooden frame is knit circularly. Lattice wall-sections narrowing upwards connect on a small circle called crown. Roof and walls are powered by strong wooden supports. After the frame is built, felts and animal hides covers the frame to maintain rainproofness.

 

 

 

There would be a smoke-hole on the top of Yurts. This hole which was opened on the chimney and could be closed from inside formed the major axis of tent. Doors in tents would be opened towards the east because of the respect on sun. The rule applied by ancient Turks was changed later on and in the beginning 10th century, the doors began to be opened towards the south considering the peak point the sun goes by. Directions of houses would be named after four major colors: White, Black, Yellow, Red.

“Yurts” estimated to be born about 2.500 years ago in Central Asia continue to provide living spaces for people of today just as in the past. Yurts also inspire young European designers. Although, it can not compete with the qualifications of Yurts, below is “The Nomad Yurt” by EcoShack:

Yurts are also attract tourism sector especially in USA and Canada. There are lots of companies offering yurt-camping. With contemporary furnitures and new materials used Yurts are for the ones who wants to be with the nature, meditate and camp…

Ps: For more links and visuals on Yurts visit Architecture of Life

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Comment by Sam Leach on April 2, 2011 at 3:24am
Great article. I once spent NYE in a Yurt with some friends, guitars, a log burner and a bowlful of potato hot-pot. Very few structures can match that cosy atmosphere of a Yurt.
Comment by Huber Mc Allistar on March 1, 2011 at 11:34am

Very interesting

 

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