Loch Ken Roundhouse
The Echo Yurt's Story
The traditional Mongolian style yurt, popular in so many UK camping venues, has provided the inspiration for this modular building. We have designed and built our more durable version of the yurt; we've taken its circular form and created what we like to think of as "the echo of a yurt". We've added insulated walls roof and floor; double glazed windows; sedum roof; a fully fitted shower room and hand built kitchen with integrated appliances to provide self contained accommodation; solar panels to provide off grid power; and finally we designed and engineered the structure to comply with the caravan construction standard BS:3632 to produce another idyllic, rental experience
Loch Ken Eco Bothies wanted to replace their conventional textile clad yurts with something special - something similar to a yurt in form but more durable and more luxurious. They had identified the perfect site by the side of a lochan and, with planning permission for their land to site caravans, they needed a building which could comply with the planning criteria for a caravan. We designed the Echo Yurt to meet the criteria and added to their growing collection of unique, off-grid Echo buildings with the elegant, self contained Echo Yurt, made just for two.
Created to offer a self contained alternative to the yurt, the 6m diameter building with a large picture window is a site specific design for the private, water side location, with extensive stepped timber decking. The structure was engineered to meet the BS3632, which requires it to be built off site and finally assembled on site from no more than two sections. Prefabricated in Echo's workshop, the building was ingeniously designed to be divided into two symmetrical sections for delivery, and was built on two separate steel sub frames. Once completed, with all its fixtures and fittings in place, the building was separated along the master joint and transported to site in two halves; these were both lifted into position onto pre-prepared ground (their steel frame sits on concrete blocks on type 1 hardcore), and bolted together. A centrepiece and strips of solid beech are inlaid to mark the original join in the timber floor. With its own integrated shower room, hand built kitchen, built in bed and entrance porch, the Echo Yurt is entirely self contained. The additional, stepped decking extends the indoor/outdoor space to the edge of the pond and provides a perfect setting for outside dining. A private, wood-fired hot tub has been installed on specially reinforced section of the decking.
The Echo Yurt Interior
The Echo Yurt is a 6m diameter space with additional extensions for a shower room and an entrance porch. Its natural, spruce lined interior has a timber floor constructed from 32 segments set inside a border and inlaid with beech, echoing the building's structure; the floor is finished in hard wax oil.
The entrance porch projects out from the circular plan and has a large double glazed, floor to ceiling window which looks out across the lochan. A panel of subtle colour denotes a space for coats and the floor will take a set in coir mat. Two more double glazed windows look out towards the lochan and a circular, and a domed rooflight illuminates the space and provides the opportunity for stargazing.
A hand built timber kitchen cabinet with curved, solid Baubuche beech worktop, sits neatly against a section of wall to the rear of the space and holds the integrated gas hob and oven; 12v fridge; stainless steel sink; and sorage cupboards with oiled spruce door fronts. To the side, three Formica topped shelves provide extra display space. Lichen green Dalsouple rubber flooring and kickplate follow the curve of the unit. Next to the kitchen unit, in the centre of the space, a freestanding wood burning stove with hearth with stainless flue provides a cosy focal point for winter evenings and heat during the colder months.
On the opposite side, a custom designed built-in double bed is cantilevered above the floor with timber bed head, bedside shelves and flexible lights. Two storage drawers sit on guides beneath and roll out when needed.
A neatly planned shower room sits in the small extension behind a discreet spruce door at the rear of the space. It is lined in charcoal Formica and spruce and has a white back to wall W.C.; wall mounted shower controls and stainless rain-shower head; ceramic shower tray; and glass pivot shower door. The client's own hand painted ceramic sink and quirky tap are set on the small console. Hot water is provided by a gas water heater, which is concealed in a shelved, airing cupboard; another tall cupboard provides additional practical storage space.
Small but powerful 12v lights are positioned carefully throughout space, above the kitchen worktop and bedside; power for lighting,12v USB sockets and extractor fans is provided by solar panels; and cooking appliances use bottled gas. The Echo Yurt is connected to mains water suppy and drainage is connected to a bio rock filter treatment plant.
The double glazed picture window looks out over the pond and the curved decking, with broad steps leading to the water's edge; the decking compliments the curves and construction of the building. Set against a woodland backdrop, the Echo Yurt's Larch cladding and sedum roof are in complete harmony with the building's stunning natural location.