Search Results for: curved roof (13)

Curved Roof Barn in Oregon

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From our Tumblr
Photo by Lloyd Kahn

During my bookstore tour in Oregon in June, I took a few days off to drive around in the Willamette Valley (south of Portland) to hunt for barns. It’s a beautiful area, kind of like a mini-Sacramento Valley — flat, rich farmland, abundant water, with steep mountain ranges on 3 sides. I spotted this barn with it’s gracefully curved roof and did my usual trespassing to shoot the exterior.
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Curved-Roof Shed


This is 10′ by 10′. Rafters made of four 1″ by 4″ by ⅜″ redwood bender board, 16′ long, bent, glued and clamped together. Roof sheathing is 1 × 6 redwood fence boards from Home Depot. Siding is ⅜″ rough-sawn exterior DF plywood. Eventually I’ll panel the inside with used fence boards. Flooring is used yellow pine T&G from Heritage Salvage in Petaluma. Windows (used) from Urban Ore in Berkeley.

Billy Cummings has done most of the work here, including cutting and fitting double-wall polycarbonate greenhouse glazing under the curved eaves.

Next step is to build a sliding door for one half of the end wall shown here so a bed can be rolled out onto the deck for nighttime star gazing. Jay Nelson built a sliding door for his shop that gave me the idea.

Note: A curved roof is infinitely more time-consuming (in many ways) as compared with, say, a shed roof or a gable roof. BUT the space underneath is wonderful and something I highly recommend for tiny homes. If you take the time to build a roof like this, it will give you a feeling of spaciousness and avoid the claustrophobia of small spaces. Curved roofs are the secret to the good feeling in Gypsy wagons (vardos).

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Round Roof Barn

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Round roof barn in Willamette Valley, Oregon

There are buildings that have — for lack of a better word — a sweetness to them. Like a small abandoned cottage in an English field I once found, slowly disintegrating back into the soil from which all its materials came. Inside, I could feel the lives that had been lived there. Or the buildings of master carpenter Lloyd House. It happens most frequently in barns, where practicality and experience create form with function. No architects needed, thank you.
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Six Gambrel Roof Barns in Oregon

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These are barns I photographed in the Willamette Valley in Oregon in September, 2014. The gambrel is a distinctive and common barn roof shape in this part of the world, as is the curved roof barn (See blog.shelterpub.com/?s=curved+roof posted last month.)

The word gambrel “Šderives from the hock (bent part) of a horse’s leg, also called a gambrel. The lower part of the roof is a steep slope, the upper part shallower. The break-in roofline allows head room in the loft space, and is useful in barns for hay storageŠ as well as in homes for rooms above plate level.” –From Shelter II, p. 98.

There are also plans for a 24′ × 32′ gambrel-roofed barn on pages 102-103 of Shelter II.

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Jay Nelson’s Latest Treehouse



Jay Nelson’s latest treehouse, now under construction in a redwood grove in Northern California. It’s about 10 by 11 feet in floor area. The round window pivots open on center pins. There are two climbing ropes attached high up so Jay and Max can work on the curved roof. Almost all the wood (except for floor framing and plywood sheathing) is used.

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Circle Madness

Old guys at work. 153 years of age total here. Billy and I have worked together off and on for 47 years.

I’ve wanted to build a curved roof for a long time. I finally did it, with help from Billy Cummings. For the 6 rafters, we glued together 4 pieces of redwood bender board — 16′ long, 1″ by 4″, ⅜″ thick, using a jig laid out on the floor, with Titebond wood glue, and clamping every foot or so. It was a pretty tedious process, we could only do one a day.

We got the rafters in place, Billy did the blocking on the plates, and we used 1×8 rough redwood fence boards for the sheathing. Yesterday we put down the flooring — used shiplap pine from Heritage Salvage. It looks (and feels) great.

There’s nothing like a curved roof, especially with a tiny home; it gives you a feeling of spaciousness. This is the roof shape in gypsy wagons — vardos.

This is 10′ by 10′. If I did it over, I would make it rectangular, like 8 by 12 or 8 by 14. I’m going to put a bed inside on wheels, that can be rolled out on the deck to sleep out under the stars. I’m still figuring out where to put windows.

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Yogan's Tiny Ship-Shape House

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In 2007, we got an email from Yogan, a young carpenter in France. He said he’d started out with a Volkswagen van, worked alone, and was following in the footsteps of old carpenters, using “…noble wood.” He had a large Mercedes van that contained his portable tools, as well as a bed and kitchen for working away from his home territory. He’d seen our book Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter, and wanted us to see the treehouse he was living in. We featured Yogan in both Tiny Homes and Tiny Homes on the Move. Here’s a new creation from Yogan, a ship-shape elevated 450 sq. ft. tiny home located in France, with a deck shaped like the prow of a ship.
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Caravan on Hornby Island, BC

Located in the forest on Hornby Island, this little house on wheels is inhabited by myself, two cats, and a chihuahua. After university, I realized that building a tiny house would be an attainable way to have a private and personally planned living space. Inspired by tiny house creators, I set to work designing the 250 sq. ft. (10 × 25 ft.) space, plus loft. The journey became official upon purchasing a second-hand steel trailer frame. It was towed home from Vancouver Island across two ferries. Because the frame was a little short, an extra 5 ft. were welded onto it.

The design evolved around two main features: an enormous window found on Craigslist and the roof’s curved beams gifted from a local builder. I tried to use and reclaim many recycled items. The live-edge maple cabinet doors came from my childhood home. The cast-iron tub was purchased from a guest house on a neighbouring island. The Pacific Energy wood stove (placed on an old table saw base) was found at the local free store. And all the wooden windows and doors were fixed up, along with much more! While I gathered and refurbished materials, several builders brought the vision to life.

Some unusual building techniques were used during construction. For instance, the studs on the side walls are exposed on the inside, allowing for more width. The S-shaped curve of the loft was constructed by cutting beams in half and joining them back together with one side flipped. I have been living here since September 2016. The next stage will be to build a cedar porch in front of the French doors and expand the garden.

–Sarat Colling


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Yogan and Menthé's Pacific Northwest Trip (Part 3)

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This is our funny USA building in Humboldt County. Menthé and I built it in about 10 days.

We used old first-growth cedar for the frame and old yellow shakes for the roof. The timber is a mix between French and American techniques; the low wall in shingles and the high wall in colombage. The roof is curved like the “Philibert Delorme roof”; we didn’t use a lot of wood to make the curve because we screwed the inside of the plank on to the top of the curve, a cheap beautiful technique.

The upper little roof is where you can watch from the bedroom mezzanine — just for fun. The gypsy Dodge does not have a motor, so it needs to be moved with a tractor on the property. It’s a friend’s bedroom, 6 ft. high!!!!!!

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Natural Buildings: Photographs by Catherine Wanek

A natural building

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Since discovering straw bale construction in 1992, Catherine Wanek has traveled widely to spread the straw bale gospel, and documenting traditional and modern examples of natural building. She co-edited The Art of Natural Building in 2002, wrote and photographed The New Strawbale Home in 2003, and wrote The Hybrid House in 2010. Her photos are featured in Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter.

Shown above, Thierry Dronet built this fairy-tale hybrid of straw bales and cordwood masonry, topped with a “living roof,” as his workshop and stable for two horses in eastern France. Bale walls act to retain the hillside, with a plastic sheet barrier and a “French drain” to wick away moisture. Time will tell whether this practice is advised.
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Bobby's Mobile Art Cart

Rolling art studio

Bobby Heffelfinger created this rolling art studio in West Marin county, California, on a 2013 Ford F-350 truck with mostly recycled materials (left over from various building projects). He started with the truck chassis and built a flatbed with 2 × 2 steel square stock.

It’s immaculately built. It’s framed with 2 × 2 fir studs. Siding is 1 × 4 tongue-and-groove cedar. Curved rafters were cut out of fir 2 × 12’s. Roof sheathing is 1 × 6 redwood tongue-and-groove.

It’s 8 feet wide by 14 feet long. Inside, it’s 7 feet to the top of the arch. The roof is 18-gauge copper with standing seams. Windows were built out of redwood from an old water tank.
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