A modern interpretation of an ancient form of shelter.
The Jero Yurt was one of our favourite projects. Here’s how it became a reality.
First conceived by designer, Uula Jero, in 2009, the yurt was borne from a desire to live more closely with the outdoors, while exploring the benefits of living in a circular space. Yurts date back thousands of years to Central Asia, where nomadic tribes would routinely pack up their home and head out in search of fresh grazing land. Typically built from hewn wood, comprising of a lattice wall and long roof poles leading up to a heavy crown, the yurt is a semi-permanent structure built for year-round use. It’s ability to be transported with ease, by mule or oxen, made it a popular dwelling that is still in use around the world today.
However, the design has seen very little change over the centuries. Even today, most yurts are built using traditional methods, with very simple materials and in a modern world of world-travelling, glamping and music festivals, their bulk means that only those with a van can trasnport them easily. We wanted to build a yurt that was lighter, more compact and nimble.
While raw wood, hewn directly from the tree, is beautiful in it’s simplicity, modern materials like plywood are lighter and more flexible. Uula replaced the heavy, bulky lattice walls with thin sheets of plywood that laced into a ring using rope. When pulled into a circle, they became stronger and more rigid. By creating a telescopic roof strut system using simple wood and dowel, he reduced the pack size by half.
The year of 2009 was spent living in this yurt prototype, right in the heart of Cologne, Germany. It endured wind, rain and snow, and Uula explored the benefits of living in a circle.
When we first met, we were talking about yurts. It seemed fitting, then, to revisit this modern yurt design together. I had been living in a Microhouse, reproduced from an original 1970’s design here in Glasgow, just as Trakke was getting off the ground. We combined our knowledge, and decided on a new design that could be cut on a CNC machine, with very little wastage, and would require only simple assembly and lamination thereafter.
The new design, it transpired, was a fifth of the weight of a traditional design. It was so compact that it would fit in the back of a hatchback. Although the design was cut on a CNC machine, the use of high quality wood and the unique uniformity and details that we could achieve created a yurt that blended traditional principles with modern craft and manufacturing. Yurts make beautiful retreats, homes, guest bedrooms and wilderness boltholes, and are the envy of every festival-goer, and this one, we think, bought them into the modern age.
Packed Size: 120 x 80 x 50cm