In response to an increasing demand for ever larger Yurts Red Kite Yurts embarked on their most ambitious Yurt ever last spring – a Yurt to hold 150 guests at a wedding banquet or large event. A full year later the enormous structure saw its showcase event in January 2011. The frame for the Yurt originated from Kyrgyzstan. Paul went to Kyrgyzstan himself in January 2010 to meet with the Yurt master, tasked with the project to discuss design and the logistics of construction. Below are some pictures from his trip.
The Process of creating a Mega Yurt:
- Willow saplings (aak tal) were coppiced from forests on the hills above Issyl Kul.
- The saplings measuring up to six meters in length were transported back to the Yurt Master’s workshop where they were individually peeled using a spoke shave and make-shift clamping mechanism
- The poles were then dried for two months before being steam bent. Both rafters (117 in this yurt) and wall poles (about 300) need to be bent to create the domed shape roof, typical of Kyrgyz Yurts.
- Each pole was drilled and the wall poles attached with Yak hide to form the 12 trellised wall sections of the Yurt.
- It is traditional for the frames of Kyrgyz yurts to be painted a bright red – for decoration and acts as a preservative.
- While work was progressing in Kyrgyzstan we too were busy in our workshop in Central Scotland crafting the massive double crown structure and the four doors, while also liasing with our canvas suppliers in Hungary.
- The frame was ready for shipping, but as we all remember there was a large cloud of Ash disrupting air flights across Europe and central Asia. With summer progressing and our Yurt weeks behind schedule there was little we could do other than hope for a break. It came, but before transportation could be arranged political unrest flared up over ancient tensions in Kyrgystan. Transport of the Yurt from Issyl Kul to Bishkek airport was delayed for a further two weeks.
- Finally the framework arrived and with it fully assembled for the first time we could finally send final measurements to our canvas makers. With a one day remaining before the Big Tent Festival in Falkland the canvas arrived.