Circle Houses

Circle Houses

Author(s): David Pearson

Publisher: Chelsea Green (October 1, 2001)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1890132861

ISBN-13: 978-1890132866

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Nature is filled with circles and animal homes are no exception. From bird nests to beaver lodges, it’s difficult for find an angle. Nomadic people continued the pattern. Round-shaped homes, echoing natural forms, have sheltered human families since the dawn of recorded time. Given this bias toward circles, it’s surprising how unusual circular houses are in industrialized society. In our disconnected world, the circle has given way to the box.

As David Pearson explains in his introduction, “Like our nomadic ancestors, many of us have a deep yearning to roam with the seasons and be close to nature and the cosmos. The traditional forms of the yurt, tipi and bender are the apogee of this experience. . . . Nomadic populations live in some of the most inhospitable and barren regions of the world and this is why they are nomads. Whether it be the deserts of the Sahara and Gobi, the steppes of Mongolia, or the polar tundras, these vast areas are either too hot and arid or too cold and windswept to be cultivated. An African grass-covered hut, a Romany gypsy ‘bender,’ an Asian yurt, or a Native American tipi are all perfect lessons in appropriate design and sustainable building. Refined over generations, they are simple yet sophisticated, beautiful and comfortable.”

Remarkable for their economy, resilience and portability, these structures have continued to exert a powerful appeal in modern times. And beyond practicality, what the circle dwellers in this book speak of most eloquently is the incomparable spiritual resonance of round homes, which “represent the universe in microcosm: the floor (Earth), the roof (sky), and the hole in the roof (the sun).”

Circle Houses is a fascinating glimpse of tradition meeting timelessness, filled with stories of 21st-century nomads and complete with basic instructions for designing and constructing your own yurt, tipi or bent-frame tent.

About the Author David Pearson is an architect and the author of several acclaimed books on natural design.

Hardcover, 95 pages