A Yurt-Inspired Vacation Home on the High Desert Plains of Colorado
The owners wanted to build a series of yurt tents on the high desert plains in the western Colorado town of Fruita, but one look at the surrounding landscape and it became clear that nomadic notions would not hold up to nature's harsh elements. "The first time I visited the site, it was about 107 degrees outside. It felt like I was stepping into an oven," says architect Rick Dominick of Dominick Architects. "I was scanning the horizon and trying to find some shade," he continues. Dominick, much like the homeowners, was smitten with the idea of the round structures, but knew that they needed to design something new.
Finding a solution, however, turned out to be a challenge. Dominick spent two years researching concepts for the home. During this time, he was surprised he didn't find more architects who are embracing yurts, considering their recent spike in popularity. "There’s a built-in challenge with round buildings. That is, how do you connect anything to them? A round structure really wants to sit on its own. We designed and permitted another structure before we shifted gears and went in this direction," Dominick explains.
Ultimately, Dominick devised a modern structure connected to three yurt living spaces—each of the yurts being a different size. He worked with Beck Building Company BeckBuilds to get the job done. The largest includes the living and dining spaces and is surrounded by windows with views of a private lake. The second yurt features the master bedroom in a more private setting at the back of the home, and has an outdoor shower just steps away from its patio doors. Finally, a third yurt is a bunk room for the children and is tucked back in a protected courtyard.