RIP Lloyd House

Photo of Lloyd’s “Leaf House” on Hornby Island by Jan Janzen. The roof shape was due to the curve of a piece of driftwood that Lloyd used for the ridge beam.

When I met the builder of my dreams 17 years ago, his name was Lloyd — House!

We became great friends and he was the main inspiration for my favorite of all our building books: Builders of the Pacific Coast.

Lloyd passed away about two weeks ago on Hornby Island, BC, Canada.

Michael McNamara (who first introduced me to Lloyd) sent this, which is posted at the Hornby Island Co-op. (A few of the phrases are borrowed from the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, “Requiem.”)

There’s a very complete list of his buildings, along with photos and interviews with him in the book: www.shelterpub.com/building/builders-of-the-pacific-coast

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The Utopian Power of Do-It-Yourself Architecture

Actually, Lloyd Kahn is not an architect. Nevertheless, he builds houses himself and writes about how people can live in harmony with nature. A new exhibition at the German Architecture Center in Berlin shows its utopian power.…

The exhibition ‘There Are Walls that Want to Prowl’ can be seen until January 15, 2023 at the German Architecture Center in Berlin.

www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/there-are-walls-that-want-to-prowl-ausstellung-100.html

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Shelter’s First Five Books

Last week, Kyle Theirmann, surfer, skater, journalist, and pal of Chris Ryan’s came here to do a podcast of me talking about the ’60s, about which he is doing a book based on the fact that a lot of millennials (he’s 32) are aware that something happened then, but don’t know exactly what.

To start out, I gave him a thumbnail description of our first books, and I got him to shoot this video on my camera.

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Warmest Tent on Earth – Pitching in the Siberian Arctic Winter

The Nenet reindeer herders need to move their tent every few days throughout most of the year. Every time they migrate they must pack the whole tent away, drag it across the tundra on sledges, and erect it again in a fresh place, sometimes in temperatures of minus thirty degrees. Survival depends on working together as a team.

From Rich Storek

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Exhibition of Shelter Books in Berlin Now

Article and video of exhibition of our books, Domebook One, Domebook 2, and Shelter in Berlin (translated from the German). This is the same exhibit, that was at the Biennale Architettura in Venice in 2021, titled “There Are Walls that Want to Prowl” (a line from a poem by Richard Brautigan that was in Shelter.) The exhibit runs in Berlin until January 15, 2023.

For my adventures in Venice last year, see: lloydkahn.com/?s=venice


Actually, Lloyd Kahn is not an architect. Nevertheless, he builds houses himself and writes about how people can live in harmony with nature. A new exhibition at the German Architecture Center in Berlin shows its utopian power.

How would we like to live?

“In the early 1970s he was already dealing with the questions that still concern us today,” says critic Laura Helena Wurth: How do we want to live together, in small families, large communities and what can that look like? Do we want to live in homes treated as commodities, or more in tune with nature?

His first experiments with building forms and typologies resulted in “domes,” round tents. At the opening of the exhibition in Berlin, Kahn admitted his mistake from back then: “Domes don’t work.” One cannot add to these round, closed constructions. According to Wurth, we can learn from him for the way we build today, that we need flexible architecture that can adapt.

Kahn’s life consists of mistakes, he told the curators, and back then he made a mistake that he had to correct. So Kahn stopped printing his book Domebook 2 and published Shelter.

Don’t build for eternity

According to Wurth, Kahn’s architecture is one that also breaks down. And then evolves. The builder recedes behind it and the people who live in it come to the fore. “Sustainable does not mean that something has to last forever. If we build a house out of concrete today, the CO2 emissions will go through the roof.” A house made of wood could break down, but would have a much better ecological balance.

According to Wurth, however, this idea is difficult to implement in an urban environment like Berlin. It’s also about space. Nevertheless, there is an “uncanny utopian power” in these works by Lloyd Kahn.

The exhibition “There Are Walls that Want to Prowl” can be seen until January 15, 2023 at the German Architecture Center in Berlin.

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Your Computer Is Not Going to Build a House for You

This the last part of a 7-minute video titled “Shelter – A Video about author Lloyd Kahn” made by Jason Sussberg (shooting 35mm film!) in 2009, when I was 75. He shows Lesley and me doing stuff around the homestead.
Jason included a minute or so of me skateboarding, with the sound guy on his crew (a skater) skating behind me and alongside me with the heavy 35mm camera.

Then I sat on the curb (in front of my skateboard) talking about housing.

Sorry this is so blurry, Jason’s work is clear, we copied this from YouTube.

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Tricked-Out Mercedes 306d Bus

Hello, Lloyd.

I’ve just finished reading your lovely new book Rolling Homes and I thought I would send you some photos of our little bus from here in Richmond / El Cerrito.

I bought the carcass (see blue bus photo) of this 1972 Mercedes 306d bus from a young fellow who was riding his bicycle across the country. The bus was in a storage yard in Vallejo where it had been sitting for decades. The wheels were frozen in place as was the engine but the $500 price tag was an encouragement.

I was originally building a Moto Guzzi motorcycle to ride when I had the epiphany that building a rolling cabin and clubhouse would be more fun and would invite new friendships. Several years of effort but not too many dollars later this bus was the result. Its name is Hanuman after the monkey god … which is also a play on words because these little diesel busses are re-badged Hanomags.

It has a 4-cylinder OM615 diesel engine that purrs nicely and front-wheel drive. It gets 20 mpg. We have taken it to many festivals such as Earthdance, Raindance, Burning Man, and on kayaking/fishing trips to Mendocino, etc.

The bus turns 50 this year.… I plan to continue to drive it to all of the wonderful places that we enjoy here in California.… I am sixth-generation Californian with many wonderful photo albums full of Santa Cruz area historic photos passed along from my grandmother along with so many written stories and memories of our history here so far.
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