a few years ago, young filmmaker zach both was traveling across the united states in a self-built mobile studio. his nomadic atelier was re-constructed from an otherwise inhabitable, decade-old chevy cargo van and was outfitted with a sustainable and sophisticated aesthetic of reclaimed wood.

 

last fall, both retired his life on wheels for life in a yurt. over the course of six months, he and his girlfriend nicole lopez designed and built an abode on the outskirts of portland, oregon, featuring a surprising number of creature comforts you’d find in a normal home…

zach both yurt
all images by bryan aulick

 

 

just over 30 feet in diameter, the yurt designed by zach both and nicole lopez encompasses 730 square feet of light-filled living space, with modern fixtures and appliances, water and electricity, and ample space for visitors. the duo built the external structure in a single weekend with the help of friends and family. internally, the space is configured around a large, central unit that comprises the kitchen, and bathroom areas, on top of which is perched a bedroom loft. this circular sleeping area features a planter housing over 45 plants and a generous skylight that lets in abundant sun throughout the day.

zach both yurt

 

 

an important part of the project was the couple’s desire to share the knowledge they learned during the building process. both has created a free online guide, doityurtself.com, that offers detailed step-by-step guides, and photos and videos of the entire construction process. the site also includes the most comprehensive collection of information about american yurt companies on the internet. ‘it’s been incredible to adapt a structure with a history that stretches back thousands of years,’ said both. ‘it was our attempt at building a modern yurt for the 21st century.’

zach both yurt

zach both yurt

zach both yurt

couple builds botanical, light-filled yurt with a circular sleeping loft and skylight

couple builds botanical, light-filled yurt with a circular sleeping loft and skylight

couple builds botanical, light-filled yurt with a circular sleeping loft and skylight

couple builds botanical, light-filled yurt with a circular sleeping loft and skylight

couple builds botanical, light-filled yurt with a circular sleeping loft and skylight

couple builds botanical, light-filled yurt with a circular sleeping loft and skylight

couple builds botanical, light-filled yurt with a circular sleeping loft and skylight

 

 

project info: 

 

designers: zach both and nicole lopez

learn more: doityurtself.com

photography: bryan aulick