Builders of the Pacific Coast Book (41)

Boathouse Built by Dean Ellis

This is a graceful little steel-framed boathouse that Dean built on the beach. Posts are 4″-5″ square steel, 8′ on center. The steel purlins are 2½″ steel tubes. The 1″×6″ sheathing is welded to the steel purlins with nails. Photo by @lloyd.kahn

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Lloyd House's Leaf House

…It seemed like a light roof was needed to compensate for the heaviness of the forest. Built the roof first; then the floor, and last the walls. To me roofs have become umbrellas that say anything can happen under them. When the roof is finished, you can stand it — feel the space, be in touch with the house — love it…

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Island Cabins Built by Bruno Atkey and Wayne

In the early 90s, Bruno and Wayne built a number of houses on a small flat island off the Pacific Coast. They had to go out every day from the mainland, anchor their boat, and somehow get on the island. Wood came via helicopter and on barges from the mainland. All of the wood came color-coated for assembly. “We flew enough wood in for two houses in less than three hours.”…

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Long House by Bruno Atkey

Bruno built this 30′×50′ building on a remote beach belonging to the Hesquiat tribe in British Columbia in 1999. It’s used in a “rediscovery” program, and now run by Hooksum Outdoor School, which educates young First Nations people about their history and heritage.

The entire building was framed with beach­combed logs — posts, beams, and purlins. Roofing is 3′-long split-cedar shakes; siding is also split cedar — 1×12’s and 1×15’s six to twelve feet long(!). His crew was mostly from the Hesquiat tribe…

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Sauna at Louie Frazier's in Mendocino

After losing two saunas to high river water, Louie built this one on a one-ton Toyota truck frame. A pickup plus a few people haul it back from the river in the winter, with Donna steering the front wheels from the inside of the sauna. Woodstove built from 50-gallon drum gets fed from the outside…

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Small Woodland Home in Southwest England

Dear Lloyd,

I became a carpenter and eco builder because of your books. Shelter and HomeWork got me hooked. Builders of the Pacific Coast got me started.

I used to work in an office. Now I build homes (narrowboats, vans, caravans, yurts, cabins) for the customers that want something different but can’t afford hiring “big people.” The poor also have the right to live in a nice home.

I built this 6.5m-diameter, heptagonal, tapered-walled, reciprocal green-roofed yurt, the “reciproyurt,” last year and got more than 70 volunteers involved.

I love working with people without experience. They give any project a freshness that you never get with professionals. They have no real preconceptions — really open-minded. They want to learn but they also teach you so much! They mainly helped with big jobs like raising the frame.

–Jesus Sierra

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The Spud Queen Built by Lloyd House

The Spud Queen was a floating home with three legs, or “spuds” built into it. (Spuds are the legs on pile drivers that are used to raise and lower the pile driver.)

“I’d float in at high tide, jack the boat up, and squat like a trojan horse against the ownership of the property. I parked there and I lived there, and I didn’t pay any taxes!”

Lloyd lived on the boat for over 20 years, docking it in four different places on an island in the Strait of Georgia…

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Alan Beckwith's Homestead

…Alan did everything himself: carpentry, plumbing, wiring (solar electricity and hydro), and developed his own water supply. He drives a tractor, maintains several miles of roads, makes beer and wine, and raises pigs and ducks. A lot of people have started homesteads since the 60’s, but seldom have they got as far along as this…

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Seaside Cabin Built by Bruno Atkey

The wilderness seaside cabin is 43 miles from the nearest road and is on the westernmost point of land on the ocean side of Vancouver Island. It is 20′ × 24′ and framed entirely from beach wood. All the wall and roof sheathing boards are split from cedar on the site, as is the roofing, which is 3′ long. It was built 1987.

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Godfrey Stephens' New Sculpture

Godfrey just sent this photo. After two day’s work. What a fucking genius! He’s getting better.

His combination of Kwakwaka’wakw training and artistic sensibilities from the depths of his soul produce powerful art. He’s in Builders of the Pacific Coast, Tiny Homes on the Move, and throughout this blog, and has been in my life for over 50 years.

He’s more of an artist — wild, productive, joyous — than the world-famous rich artists out there getting all the attention. He’s a Picasso under the radar.

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