Couldn’t afford SF. Then built a backyard yome (yurt + dome)

When Ava Rosen slept in a yome – a hybrid between a yurt and geodesic dome – she fell in love with its geometry: “I’d never heard of a yome before, but I just really liked it and I think geodesic structures are really brilliant, and I’d read that they are more structurally sound than a yurt.”

As a teacher looking for housing in the pricey San Francisco market, she decided to buy one (secondhand for $6900, including platform) and place it in an underused backyard.

Ava spent some time leveling the ground and laying a cement-block foundation and insulated wood floor, but the zome structure itself went up in one day, with the help of a few friends. The heptagon shape is a series of triangles formed by small wooden beams connected by bolts at central axes. More slender beams and a tension wire hold the roof together. On top of the skeleton, Ava added foil insulation before placing the canvas covering.

Inside, as one of her first “DIY projects”, she built a lofted bed leaving the space open as a living room complete with couch, coffee table, stereo system, and recording equipment (Ava is a musician and artist). For heat, she began with a wood-fired stove that worked well to heat the small space, but the secondhand appliance quickly stopped working and she made plans for a pellet stove. For cooking, she has a small grill on her deck or she uses her parents’ kitchen (she also uses their bathroom).

She built an outdoor shower in a small dead-end alley space at one side of the house. She copper pipes and a sloped wooden floor (made from recycled pallets) which delivers the greywater to her mint and herb garden.
Ava’s band (Galore)

On *faircompanies:


  1. Whilst this type of living is cool it highlights how NIMBYS and lack of government investment in affordable housing have pushed young people into relying on family members for housing which isn’t possible for everyone

  2. 紹介してる家が全部素敵ですね。

  3. Interesting, I had never heard of a yome before. I find it funny that she said a yurt was kind of a weak fence kind of structure, shows just how little she actually knew/looked into yurts,

  4. “My parents that live in SF let me live in their backyard.” ………. yeah……… It’s really cool, but this just screams privilege.

    • She said that she could not afford to rent so I assume this means living in a tent and showering in the garden was not her first choice, doesn’t scream privilege to me.

    • @michelangelo sacco I live in the bay area. It is because most people don’t have this option. Most people have to move further away. Most people don’t have parents they can live with.

  5. I love the minimal aspect of this including your interviewing style! Her parents must be pretty cool, very chilled I imagine ✌️😃🙏

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