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

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,, 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



project info: 


designers: zach both and nicole lopez

learn more:

photography: bryan aulick

  • Thats a Mongolian yurt mongols designed this hundreds years ago

    Layla says:
  • It’s very unhealthy to sleep with plants in a closed space. During the night plants realease CO2 as part of fotosintesis. Looks kind of nice though.

    Hagai says:
  • “If you sleep with plants in an enclosed space, can people die?”

    Plants photosynthesize in the presence of light, absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.

    At night, plants begin to breathe, absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide. So can you die if you sleep with plants at night? The correct answer is “not.”

    The reason is … First, the place of breathing is where gas exchange takes place-leaf = pore, stem = tree, root = root hair.

    ㉡ Where breathing takes place-Mitochondria-> Pore opening and moderate wind and temperature is required.

    -> There is no wind in a closed room. -> Also, the result of respiration is carbon dioxide and water,

    -> Before carbon dioxide is released to the extent that a person dies-> The vaporized water closes the pore due to the saturated space being saturated.

    Second, a lot of breathing occurs when the seeds sprout, the flowers bloom, and the plants grow.

    -> If it’s a lily, it’s in bloom and it’s time for breathing not to take place.

     -> In the case of houseplants with a higher volume of breath than lilies-> In winter, they are grown close to the seal in a heated greenhouse (mainly under the ring),

     -> No matter how high the amount of plants, people are not dead.

    -> In fact, most farmers grow and sleep in greenhouses.

    Third, no one can produce enough carbon dioxide to die.

    -> Even if the respiratory rate occurs indefinitely regardless of the above two things,-> it is impossible to put a plant in a certain amount of space that will produce enough carbon dioxide to die.

    In fact, many farmhouses are inhabited by people in greenhouses. The greenhouse is filled with vegetation, and it is an enclosed space outside and incomparable with ordinary houses.

    Even people who lived there never died of plant breathing.

     Fourth, if it’s an enclosed space … a person can only die without lily.

    Fifth, some plants use it to “absorb-> store” carbon dioxide at night and to photosynthesize during -day. For example, tropical succulents (typically cactus).

     So, whether it’s a lily or not, you can’t just kill people with carbon dioxide from the breathing of plants.

    There is a novel about killing people with the scent of lilies. A rich scent can harm a person.

    In addition, many hospitals prohibit bringing in bouquets or putting plastic wrap on the outside of the bouquet because pollen can cause harm to people with certain allergic reactions.

     However, this is to prevent the exposure of pollen to patients in hospitals who need absolute stability.

    shlee says:

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