The center ring (shangrak) is the most crucial part of the yurt's structure. All other parts of the yurt can be easily replaced, but the shangrak is passed down from a father to his children. The shangrak is a symbol of the family's well-being. Because smoke passes up through the opening in the center of the yurt it eventually accumulates soot. The more soot the better since it signals that many fires have been kept in the home. Many Central Asian countries, including Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have a shangrak either on their flag or their coat of arms. Here my daughter Kalila is teething on a shangrak dome made of willows.

A Ger for the whole family!

This 20' diameter yurt is the biggest we've attempted. The center ring is between 9 and 10' tall and is supported by (36) 9' rafters. We spanned the 60'+ perimeter with two lattice wall sections. The weatherized vinyl covering includes 3 transparent skylights for sunlight in the winter. The structure is quite spacious within and the walls are insulated with a fleece lining. This large Ger has proven very functional and comfortable in the strong spring New Mexican winds.

Introducing the Baby Baluchi!

The yurts of antiquity, as evidenced by artifacts from ancient Persia, were likely smaller, very portable shelters used for extended hunting expeditions. We named this camping yurt prototype after Baluchistan, a region in present day Iran known for its tent dwelling, herding peoples. This yurt can easily sleep four adults and is ideal for ice fishing, hunting, or even as a childrens' playhouse. We built it with our expected baby in mind. The low ceiling makes it easy to heat and the separate components when broken down can fit into most any vehicle.

Traditional Approach

We believe in mobile yurts as originally designed for the roaming nomad. Our yurts are made with respect to the traditions of its Central Asian roots. Living as travellers ourselves, we've found it to be the ideal structure for mobility, comfort, and space. With the design requiring a minimal amount of resources, one does not need much material to create a maximum amount of floor and head space. The yurt is made of components that, when disassembled, can pack onto your vehicle (or yak).

The name "Yurt" is a misnomer meaning homeland. The Mongolian name for the structure itself is "Ger." It is called by other names in the many regions in which it is used. Our design is a Western approach to the craft of Yurt-making, but with the original intent and purpose of mobility in mind. For the transient explorer, living lightly on the land and leaving without a detrimental footprint, the yurt as a structure is unequalled.

Taos Yurt

This is a 13' yurt we recently constructed. We used Redwood, a hardwood that is naturally water-resistent. We finished the wood with linseed oil, a natural water sealer with no VOC off-gasing. The canvas is natural cotton with a water protectant applied to the roof. The center ring is fitted with a copper dome. The designs are inspired by Mongolian, Japanese, and Indo-Islamic cultures.

The Summer Yurt

This Yurt was constructed in Northern California for a summer festival. We bought colorful bedsheets from the thrift store and sewed up a rainbow shade cloth. The lattice wall is fastened together with rivets we made using pennies and roofing nails.