Square peg in a round hole Part 1 – Yurt Floor
We here at Wurruk’an are big fans of round spaces. They make you feel like a hobbit and embrace you like an immense doona. When it comes time to add a floor or a ceiling to them though, it can be a little tricky. Luckily we have a pretty good cache of old timbers to draw from for our projects.
The yurt is a lovely space but the hessian sack floor, with sand and gravel below, wasn’t cutting it. It never dried out in winter and was a hotbed for spiders. The solution was to put in a raised timber floor to get some ventilation under that sucker. This would also provide an outdoor platform for times in winter that we take down the yurt.
Step 1. Dig some trenches in a roughly hexagonal shape around the yurt to receive the bearers. We cast a series of string lines across the yurt to get a sense of level. From this information we can refine the depths of the trenches, allowing the bearer topsides to be level. Step 2. We put a bitumen coating on the end grain of the bearers to prevent rot as these will be nestled in the ground. While they were drying we poured some dollops of concrete (1 bag of cement mixed with the sand and gravel from the site) at the meeting points of the bearers. This holds the bearers down; over time moisture can warp the timber out of shape and these little footings make sure that any movement is restrained.
Step 3. We scrounged a collection of old timbers together and ripped them all to a uniform height with a circular saw and jig. We laid these down at roughly 450mm centres and around the perimeter of the space.
Step 4. More scrounging, this time for decking. Our honorary carpenter Tom brought some scrap Merbau (never buy Merbau! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intsia_bijuga#Illegal_logging) and we cobbled together the rest from a few old hardwood door frames and some cypress we ripped to depth (19mm plus or minus). This structure, about 3.5m in diameter, required about 90 linear metres of decking at 100mm wide. We ended up being very tight with timber, having just enough to get us over the line. This scarcity meant that the last 1/4 of the floor was arranged as quite a meditative puzzle of boards.
NB Circular spaces are also quite hard to photograph. No illicit substances were consumed in the creation of this deck.