The Hexayurt Sauna @ Camp Pixelache
One of the kick-off activities at Camp Pixelache in Helsinki, Finland was a group activity to build a hexayurt structure that would later in the evening become a sauna.
A hexayurt is a 6 sided structure that can be built out of any materials including plywood, has little waste in its construction.
To make the simplest hexayurt, you make a wall by putting six sheets of plywood on their sides in a hexagon. Nex, cut six more sheets in half diagonally, and screw them together into a shallow cone. Finally, you lift the roof on to the wall with a large group of people, then fasten it down with more screws. You can seal and paint it for durability – and the hexyurt is done.
For the sauna design, Justin Tyler Tate and Ernest Truly were commissioned to build a mobile stove (kiuas in Finnish) for the Hexayurt Sauna. They built the stove in a shopping cart, and created a chimney from a long box like metal piece that came from a local factory. The outside of the hexayurt was a local material, also from a local factory. The stove design was made by putting ghte chimney structure in the center of the cart, and then putting rocks around this. The fire was made in the chimney, which then lit up the rocks.
It was rainy when the stove was lit, but we all stood around getting warm near the stove, and also took turns checking out the hexayurt structure. I did not wait for the stove to make it into the hexayurt since my feet were wet, but I heard the rocks did get warm – and people stayed up til 3 am in the sauna hexayurt structure.
The hexayurt shelter is meant to be an easy to build shelter, and is inspired by the Buckydome geodesic dome structure. The designs of the hexayurt are online and are open source. Since the design was put on the web 10 years ago, there are now more variations on the designs, one of which has expanded headroom and a full-height doorway.
The hexyurt design has no copyright or patent, and anyone can build it for free. It is meant to enable areas to create shelter, and in a crisis these could be made quickly and efficiently when shelter is needed.
A Hexayurt has been built in Haiti, were used at Occupy in Pittsburgh, and many hexayurt structures popped up at Burning Man this year (over 500!)
They goal is to get hexayurts all over the world – and I plan to see if we can build one where I work – maybe to use as another classroom, mediation room, clubhouse, or a sauna?