Welsh Cabin Competition

This was a competition to design a high quality, ‘self-contained’ glamping accommodation unit to coincide with Visit Wales’ ‘Year of Legends’ in 2017. The unit had to be no larger than 2.7m wide, 5.7m long and 3.4m high and had a set budget of £11,000.

Our design, “Cwtch” was specifically made to be wheelchair friendly so it was accessible to all visitors. The unit would have to be positioned in three different landscapes each one having different views and potentially, a different orientation. For everyone to enjoy and experience all aspects of living at different times of day the units and their ‘activities’ needed to be flexible and adaptable. This meant designing the unit with flexible window arrangements where the sunrise might be enjoyed though one window and the sunset through another. This also provides flexibility with privacy when placing units next to each other as some windows can be closed off if required. The layout also had to be flexible so the occupants can sleep, sit or eat outside or inside and so the furniture to do this is loose and the bed on wheels. The unit also has an upper deck for those more ‘mobile’ where visitors can experience the views from a higher level or have a little more intimacy. The design even includes a rooflight to cloud watch during the day and star gaze at night when you want to be snuggled up in doors.

The external materials were used to echo the context and tradition. The Welsh copper tiles echo the scales of mythical dragons and the leaves on the trees while their polished finish reflects the surrounding landscape. At the same time the shape of the tiles mimic the spears and swords of the legends and stories of King Arthur. The copper layer wraps around the unit hugging it tightly so the glazed ‘pod’ pops out towards the Welsh landscape. At the other end the Welsh oak softens the ‘service’ end topped by the roof terrace which echoes the battlements of historic Welsh castles. The twisted angles of the elevations evoke the rugged landscape of Wales where nothing lies flat. The crooked windows are like crevices in the rock face offering glimpses of other worlds beyond. The whole palette provides a rich mixture of textures and colours like the Welsh landscape it sits in.