Home Work Book (20)

Canadian Home in Our Book Inspires Home in Tasmania


My name is Pete Robey and my wife Blythe and I live in Tasmania. The little island attached to the bottom of Australia. Thought I would share with you that our house is the first approved cordwood home in Australia. It is currently featured in Australia’s Owner Builder magazine. You can get a link here at the bottom of the page: www.thehousethatworkedout.com 

I bought your 3 books: Shelter, Builders of the Pacific Coast, and Home Work early on before we had even confirmed style. The Baird House from page 28–31 of Builders of the Pacific Coast just grabbed me. Thanks Mike Baird and to you too Lloyd (House) for this inspiration. We designed our home with the same ideal: every room and every area of the home can pretty much engage with every other area of the home. The village TeePee idea. We have a massive 4 ft. diameter, 2  ft. long tree holding up the earth roof and our 2nd story doesn’t go all the way to the middle so we have plenty of space. We don’t have stairs, preferring to use a gym rope as exercise — see this post from our blog: ‌www.thehousethatworkedout.com/…

Catch you later.

From www.lloydkahn.com/…

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Natural Buildings: Photographs by Catherine Wanek

A natural building


Since discovering straw bale construction in 1992, Catherine Wanek has traveled widely to spread the straw bale gospel, and documenting traditional and modern examples of natural building. She co-edited The Art of Natural Building in 2002, wrote and photographed The New Strawbale Home in 2003, and wrote The Hybrid House in 2010. Her photos are featured in Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter.

Shown above, Thierry Dronet built this fairy-tale hybrid of straw bales and cordwood masonry, topped with a “living roof,” as his workshop and stable for two horses in eastern France. Bale walls act to retain the hillside, with a plastic sheet barrier and a “French drain” to wick away moisture. Time will tell whether this practice is advised.
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The Wooden Yurts of Bill Coperthwaite

Yurt by Bill Coperthwaite

Bill Coperthwaite was a master yurt-builder/​designer who was featured in Home Work. He died in 2013. Here is a selection of several of his wooden yurts.

The photo above and the two photos immediately below were Bill’s home in the Maine woods. It is 54 feet in diameter and was designed so it could be built over a period of several years and still provide shelter during the process. It is a tri-centric, or three-ring yurt with 2700 sq. ft. of floor space. You can first build the 16 ft. inner core as a room to move into. In the second stage, you can build the large sheltering roof over a gravel pad, allowing the major cost, floor construction, to be delayed. In the meantime you have a spacious area under roof that can be used for a workshop, greenhouse, garage, or for play.

wooden yurt wooden yurt

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Anna Friedrich's Van

4 the bus from the side, he's called orbiter

My name is Anna, I am 23 years old, I make documentary films and come from a rural area in central Germany.

In the spring of 2013, I spent two months on an organic cheese farm in Wales. Apart from changing my views about city life in general, I stumbled across the book Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter sitting on the shelf in on the bedroom. I was majorly intrigued, and on my last day at that farm an idea had started rummaging in my mind: I would buy a bus, use it for the production of my back-then-in-development documentary series “Stories From Reality” and live in it. After a few months search I took my savings (to the worry of my parents) and bought a yellow 1980 Mercedes.

It has a size of approximately 5 square meters and runs on diesel and good music. In 2014, I started rebuilding the bus under the supervision with the help of my partner Fabian, an architect with a great talent for woodcraft.

The bus already had an almost historic system of shelves and storage room, but was also heavily infused by eighties styles, whichI really wanted to get rid of. It took a few months and a lot of sawing, sanding and varnishing. Now, the bus includes an editing desk for making films, lots more storage room and a spacious kitchen. Most plastic things have been thrown out, we tried to make all the wood reappear under the “eighties layers,” and as you might imagine, the building process never really stops…
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New Yurt Based on Bill Coperthwaite's Last Design


All photos by Melanie Wehrwein

Bill Coperthwaite was a master yurt-builder/designer who was featured in Home Work. He died in 2013. The yurt that the Wehrwein family is building was based on Bill’s last design.

For almost three years, Melanie and Josh Wehrwein have been living in a heavy, round tent measuring 24 feet in diameter, along with their 8-year-old son Caden and 5-year-old daughter Aria.

Not far away on their wooded property is a circular, three-storied wooden structure that’s not complete, but into which they’ll eventually settle. Its base is 46 feet and 6 inches across. Its shape suggests a UFO.

Yurts, as both structures are known, were traditionally inhabited by those on the steppes of central Asian countries such as Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan.

In the United States, they’ve grown in popularity — and evolved in style — thanks in part to the efforts of a now-deceased Mainer named William Coperthwaite. Before a car accident took his life in 2013, Coperthwaite made many of the designs for the Wehrwein’s three-storied, wood-tapered yurt. It was the last design by Coperthwaite, who was 83 and lived in a similarly sizable yurt he’d built in Machiasport, [Maine].

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