This whimsical structure is one of the winning designs in a series of eight pop-up hotel cabins located in three secret locations throughout the Welsh countryside. The design competition hosted by Epic Retreats invited architects from around the world to craft space-saving designs inspired the mystic folklore of Wales, while utilizing modern construction techniques. You can read more about the other winners here.
In this case, "Arthur's Cave," designed by Miller Kendrick Architects Ltd., features a combination of CNC-cut birch plywood ribs and sheathing panels, which work together to form an outer and inner shell. Tightly fitted together using "jigsaw" joints, the structural ribs are comprised of either three or five individual sections of plywood. Inside, the plywood provides both the structure, finish, fixtures, and fittings—and acts as the sole material throughout, including a plywood sink and bath. On the exterior, the faceted skin is clad in locally-sourced Welsh larch boards that are stained in black with sheep’s wool insulation by Ty-Mwar.
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The "cave" features a large sliding glazed door—an alluring hideaway from the elements. Inside, incredible panoramic views can be enjoyed beside a log fire, which look out to the foot of Castell Y Bere in north Wales. Where luxe meets minimal, it's equipped with hot and cold water, LED lighting powered by photovoltaics, and a self-composting WC.
You can book you very own glamping holiday on the Epic Retreats website. With only 200 spots available, visitors can book a three-night weekend or a four-night midweek experience, which include hands-on experiences that are inspired by the rich traditions of the Welsh countryside—from beer tasting and Welsh meals prepared by master chefs, to sea fishing and cultural performances.