This is a Forest Garden Yurt designed and built by William Coperthwaite in the 1970s. Now it’s an Airbnb in the Ozark Forest of Galena, Missouri near Reed Spring.
Forest Garden Yurts are wooden yurts designed and built by Bill Coperthwaite in the 1970s for Tom Hess and Lory Brown as home and pottery studio. Tucked away in 4 acres of Ozark forest, the yurts are simple in nature yet abound with artistic details. The home yurt has a kitchen, bedroom, and a nook living room. The bathroom yurt is separate but has a covered walk.
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Forest Garden Yurt Cabin in Galena, Missouri Ozark Forest
The garden yurt has a one-of-a-kind full kitchen.
The natural lighting is really something in here!
Tom Hess and Lory Brown lived and worked on the property for 40 years. This was the Hess Pottery Studio where Tom created his red clay pottery.
A cozy place to read. This yurt was designed and built by William Copperthwaite, a Harvard PhD graduate who became a pioneer in yurt building in the United States. He authored the book, A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity.
There’s a handmade staircase that takes you up to the sleeping loft.
It seems pretty magical up there.
The bathhouse is separate from the main yurt but it is nearby with covered access. What a wonderful place this must have been to create from every day!
The shower has natural lighting overhead. That seems nice.
The vanity looks very nice.
There’s a little ‘Hobbit’ door to get in and out.
- Forest Garden Yurt
- Designed/built by Bill Coperthwaite in the 1970s
- Tucked in 4 acres of Ozark forest
- Galena, Missouri
- Near Reeds Spring
- Sleeps up to 6 guests
- 1 bedroom
- 5 total beds
- 1 bath
- Nook living room
- The bathroom is a separate yurt with covered access
- Fire pits
- Camp chairs
- Roasting sticks
- Low clearance areas
- ‘Hobbit hole’ doors
- Read about the history of the yurts below
- Available to book on Airbnb
History of the Yurts
- Tiny Studio Yurt Cabin in Bryce Canyon
- Tiny Adirondack Yurt Cabin
- Airbnb Village w/ Treehouse Yurt, Alpacas, Woodstock, And More
Our big thanks to Amanda for sharing!🙏
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I love it. Yurts are cool and I like this construction. Nice open concept. I would have liked the bathroom to be inside however, much more convenient on cold winter nights or during rainstorms.
It does have COVERED ACCESS to the outhouse. Many people would really appreciate that if they have ever lived with an outhouse.
I remember spending some time in the CROW’s nest of a dome. The stars in rural AZ are still amazing to me.
That sounds lovely!
This is not a “Yurt”. A distinctive shelter, influenced by its round shape. The “Yurt” house is a completely different cultural product in terms of its purpose, design, static, and most importantly, very easy to assemble, disassemble and transport. Any structures like this can also be made polygonal and be even more useful. On the other hand, a “Yurt” takes its basic design from its form.
Read up on Bill Copperthwaite and his work in yurt building. It is pretty fascinating. They are architecturally yurts. He once built one for Harvard. We are lucky to have one of his builds.
Yes! He made an awesome one that’s in New Hampshire and we stayed in it >>> https://tinyhousetalk.com/1974-coperthwaite-wooden-yurt-getaway-in-new-hampshire/
It’s actually just a Western yurt, which adopts the same architectural ideas with a few changes… You’re thinking of the original Asian yurts that goes back thousands of years… But, if it helps, think of this as an example of yurt derivations. Since, architectural ideas, once they leave their place and time of origin, invariably change as they get adapted by different cultures, for different places and climates, different availability of materials, and evolution of technology, etc.
The architect that created this just wanted to enable people to play a larger role in creating their own shelter, using a design that reduces required building skills to a minimum while still producing a beautiful, inexpensive, and permanent shelter. So it embodies many of the same principles of the traditional yurt, it’s just adapted for western climates, available materials, and intended to be more permanent than movable…
While talking about the yurt here, I emphasized the main theme of simplicity and the idea of a minimalist form. It is obvious that a complex structure has nothing to do with the main idea of the yurt. In the western culture, which has an industrial base and is increasingly dependent on technology, productions are generally rectangular and sharp-edged. For this reason, although it does not comply with human nature, it has been condemned to angular living spaces.
However, the people of the steppe, who are in harmony with nature and as a whole, noticed and preferred the round shape. We can see harmony with nature and common sense even in the igloos of the Eskimos.
I am an expert on natural building materials, especially soil structures, an ecologist and a civil engineer.
Sure, but that distinction is arguably being exaggerated here… A western yurt is still based on simplicity, you can’t really reduce the building skills required to just the minimum if it was actually a complex structure like most western buildings and it’s not like they re-invented the wheel to just create something similar but actually followed many of the same design principles.
It’s just also a product of its environment, as is most structures created by people, and what resources are most available and easy to use in its creation. While adapting it to deal with western climates and serve as a more permanent structure, as most westerners are not nomadic.
Most of the complexity in it comes from what people later put into it to make it fit the lifestyle they are accustomed to but that’s a separate issue from the structure itself.
Even the more traditional yurts used by westerners are going to have their influence apparent. Since, it takes more than just how a structure is built to change the influence of a culture and its environment…