These Beach Shack–Inspired Prefabs Along U.K.’s North Sea Are Big on Nature

The series of three tiny cabins by Koto form a destination resort that plugs visitors into a pristine setting in Northumberland.

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Koto, a U.K.–based prefab builder known for its geometric tiny homes, modular offices, and resort accommodations has just launched its latest, a series of three rentable black cabins that form a retreat known as Trees at Tughall along England’s Northumberland Coast.

The tiny prefab cabins Koto designed for Trees at Tughall, a resort on the Northumberland Coast of England, feature 300-square-foot plans that prioritize a connection with the outdoors. The exteriors are clad with vertical Welsh spruce siding that’s been stained black.

Photo by Olco Studios

Inspired by the beach shacks and fisherman sheds that dot the area, the 300-square-foot, suite-like cabins—named Ash, Hawthorn, and Willow for the tree species found here—are designed in Koto’s signature "Japandi" style: angular in form, and with black-stained exteriors, natural wood interiors, and ample glazing for a strong connection with the outdoors.

The three cabins—Ash, Hawthorn, and Willow—are named for the species of trees that grow in the region, and each provides a unique experience on the site.

Photo by Olco Studios

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A covered porch enhances the cabin’s indoor/outdoor plan.

Photo by Olco Studios

Here at Tughall, that gives guests a chance to unplug from the rigors of daily life and instead connect with the area’s pristine wilderness. Covered porches marking the entrance of each cabin function as outdoor living rooms, while inside, poplar and ash finishes match the warm, golden hues of the grassy pastures surrounding the cabins. 

"The designs are simple and contemporary, almost bordering on elemental—they’re a clean platform from which to enjoy nature unfettered from the clutter of everyday life," says Zoë Little, one of Koto’s cofounders.

The walls and ceilings are finished with poplar plywood while the floor is locally sourced ash.

Photo by Olco Studios

A built-in with an expansive windows creates a strong connection with the landscape.

Photo by Olco Studios

Although the cabins are structurally identical, each has a unique relationship with its immediate setting. The Ash cabin is situated among ancient ash trees that, when the sun is shining, create dappled light on its glossy black surface. The Hawthorn cabin, set on the banks of the Tughall Burn, a river running through the site, and flanked by ash, horse chestnut, and hawthorn trees, takes in an impressive view of the highest peak in the Cheviots, a range bordering Scotland. The south-facing Willow cabin is shaded by massive willow trees and gets its own panoramic view of the rural landscape.

The bedroom features a large picture window and built-in shelving and seating.

Photo by Olco Studios

The cabins are a short hike from Beadnell Beach and the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Photo by Olco Studios

In building the retreat, Koto was mindful of creating a connection with nature, but also preserving it. "We’ve a passion for sustainability, so these cabins were built carbon-neutral using Koto’s modular construction methods," Little says. According to Little, the company pairs sustainably sourced timbers with high-performance envelopes to ensure minimal energy usage and long-term carbon storage.

For the cabin design, Koto considered natural elements such as wind, scent, sound, and sunlight.

Photo by Olco Studios

Large glass doors frame views of the pastoral setting.

Photo by Olco Studios

Koto’s prefabricated, sustainable approach to construction helped to preserve and protect the bucolic landscape.

Photo by Olco Studios

Ideally, says the company, that would provide added peace of mind to visitors looking for tranquility in a place like Trees at Tughall, where the setting reigns supreme. Beadnell Beach and more unparalleled beauty on offer in and around the Northumberland coast are all easily accessible. Says Little, "There’s almost always a light easterly breeze that carries the scent and sounds of the sea as the sun sets over the nearby Cheviots."

The covered porch frames a unique vantage.

Photo by Olco Studios

Book your own stay at Trees at Tughall.

Project Credits:

Design: Koto / @koto_cabins



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