Structural Integrity


​​Having just survived hurricane Irma, it's logical that my first interpretation of structure would be buildings. Furthermore, my mother is an architect who taught structures to her students: ensuring they designed buildings with structural integrity. I like it when a building stands up; especially to excessive wind.

What surprised me, however, was how well our Tiki Hut withstood the wind. It isn’t actually a Tiki Hut, it’s a Seminole Indian “Chickee”, constructed the same as they have been for centuries. Chickee is the Seminole word for house. The construction process uses cypress logs and palm fronds native to the area.​

A genuine Seminole chickee, is exempt from modern building codes. So, while my house may be constructed according to hurricane standards, my chickee is not. But look at how well it fared in Irma! A few palm fronds were blown upright but they weren’t blown off, and the damage didn't create a leak in the thatching.

​Not only am I thrilled it survived, I am fascinated by the Chickee's structure and strength. Thanks to Kate for the opportunity to explore this further.

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