Many people came to live in the south of France this last thirty years, particularly in Ariege, and they built their houses. We can find this small one in the hills or mountains. Is it a kind of new vernacular architecture?

The Yurt of Ariege

One calls it yurt because its inhabitants builders and their neighbours name it so, although it presents differences with regard to the traditional model of Central Asia, and at first because it is not a nomadic shelter.
It is a small construction with little raised vertical walls surrounding a circular space. Perches stemming from the summit of walls shine in cone and join in the summit.
It adopts so the shape of the yurt and a similar structure and declines in some variants which differ by the used materials.

A sophisticated yurt

A plaiting of wild hazel trees - plentiful on average mountain - connects pickets and main perches and closes the space.
The waterproofness of the roof is realized by beds of bundles of sticks of fern.
Walls will receive a cob of earth

Regrettably, the fern has no big longevity (5 years maximum) and yurts are often covered with a cover..
Although the fern is plentiful - it colonized most of the old prairies - to harvest it, to transport and to implement it to cover a roof is rather boring and is not frequently renewed.

As in the Mongolian yurt, the heater is made in the centre with exit of smokes in the highest point.

Internal atmosphere
In this yurt walls are in bales of straw and internal and outside rollers of heath mask a plastic cover on the roof.
This one covered with ferns is fitted out with mezzannines
Small hut covered with thatch in the south slope of the mountain

The yurt of Ariege is rather a temporary shelter (for several years at the need) which allows to settle down quickly in a place, to confront with the climate, to think about its future and, if one chooses to stay, to think of a more definitive construction. That's why they are little maintained afterward.

If the yurt should serve as storeroom, or as workshop, it will be covered with a cover, otherwise its days are counted.
yourte a l'abandon
As for the one that will be probably burned..
The yurt of Ariege is so a home, the first one in whom one lives by settling down on a territory. But also a native architecture, in the sense of nativet art - what the western civilization considered of primitive, wild, not evolved, before realizing that in sustainable development it had no lesson to be given to these native peoples but a lot to learn it.
Shelter using in best the renewable materials of the environment - cut the hazel tree and he answers by growing other branches - it will be necessary to cut the fern several times the year during years to hope to eliminate- the yurt is cool in summer and easy to warm in winter, adapted to the so psychological but physical needs of its inhabitants.
One meets also in Couserans this even technical of basketwork with some variants of shape: rounded off and indicated as igloo, or with the perches leaving the ground and named teepee.
According to regions the hazel tree can be replaced by the willow, the wicker, the fern by the broom or the heath less degradables.
In fact one meets this model of hut with the conical roof in all the continents with use of the local vegetables. And the presence here is a testimony of the unity of the constructive human intelligence and the global brotherhood.

One can notice also the importance of the glazings which do of this small place a space of the nature, as well as the wide roof (we are not in the dry steppes).


Question: but what build so the inhabitants when they leave the yurt?
Answer: a house which looks like it strangely, as shape, as technic of construction and as organization of the space.
Certainly bigger, more sturdy, with a first level space as unique room, and a floor, and a proportion of glazing equivalent. The plan is not circular but octagonal any more, pickets were replaced by trunk, the perches by beams which shine, the cob by some concrete of hemp or the bardage, the fern by some slate.
maison ronde charpente rayonnante
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