The latest in LIGHTBARS …

February 15th, 2011


LIGHTBAR enables my inexplicable obsession with temporary architecture once again this year. But I hope this time I’ve built something that will last.


It’s very much a Yurt, nothing exotic to the hill-hippies of rural Oregon.  It’s about 25 feet in diameter. I spent all January building it, using my friend Ross’s lovely bamboo and whole bunch of parachute cord.  The walls and roof are held together with a knot that holds the poles rigidly together when expanded, but leaves them loose when folded, so they bundle up nicely for transport.


Unlike some yurts, there’s no real door per se. The wall lattice is the lowest possible frequency; you can step right through it. So really the whole thing is made of doors. We can open as many as we like by adjusting the skin. Skipping the door-installation and wall-joining steps makes wall setup a sixty-second process — lightning fast!

The roof — hey, isn’t that a bicycle wheel? This design is experimental, non-Mongolian, looks fabulous but is somewhat awkward to raise and lower. We cart around a tripod crane to make it easier. Our bartender and handyman Maitland, and other hardworking LIGHTBAR volunteers, have turned the roof-raising process into an Extreme Sport. Nevertheless, it takes way longer than i’d like. Research continues in this area.


The poly-tarp skin keeps with the LIGHTBAR tradition — in fact, it’s the same hunk of plastic we started with six years ago. Three cheers for my lovely wife and yurt-seamstress Gesine, who tailored the rectangular tarp to perfectly fit the circular building! Sewing a 25-foot tarp in your living room takes skill, stamina, concentration and a good quantity of cheap red wine. These photos aren’t doing justice to the results. More photos soon!

This fireplace wins! LIGHTBAR has been a bit chilly in the past, but now we have central heating. A repurposed washing machine basket makes a perfect fireplace — easy to start, easy to feed, radiates tons of heat while keeping actual flames contained.

Leave a Reply