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Slate Cabin: A Secluded Retreat in the Heart of Wales

With its rugged countryside and lush valleys, Wales has always been a fantastic place to escape to a secluded destination and enjoy some alone time. Now, a brand new writer’s retreat sitting at the edge of the Snowdonia National Park is offering true tranquility for residents – and the small, rustic building has plenty of architectural merit.

Slate Cabin was built in response to the simultaneously beautiful and harsh landscape of Wales. Designed as a result of an international competition process and completed earlier this year, the cabin – as you may have guessed from the name – was inspired by slate.

Wales is a country built on slate, with a mass of old quarries and ancient slate homes that have remained standing for centuries. Slate Cabin was developed as a way to collect and catalogue Welsh slate, with the exterior of the building covered entirely in local stone. The slate tiles were collected by nearby farms, and they have a rustic, mottled look that befits the cabins rough-and-ready appearance.

The outside of the building looks stark and striking against the countryside, with its dark exterior a perfect contrast to all the surrounding greenery. But step inside this reductive black box, and you’ll find a warm and welcoming cabin, with plenty of natural light. The floor plan is eminently simply – there’s just one large room for most activities (relaxing, sleeping, cooking, socialising), and a small bathroom tucked out of the way just behind, to offer a little privacy.

All of the furniture here must multitask. The bed is situated on a raised platform, and the mattress itself pulls back at one end to create a desk space. The head of the bed doubles up as a small dining table for two, with built in seats, perfect for enjoying home-cooked meals made from the wood-burning stove that is in the corner, and provides all of the heat for the cabin.

In a space this small, every inch matters – and the designer has been meticulous in ensuring that every inch of this cabin has been put to good use. There is no wasted space – the few steps up to the bed platform double up as storage for shoes, and you can store bulky hiking packs, tents or other equipment on a large shelf above the bathroom, so it doesn’t eat into your living space when you’re passing through.

The windows have been positioned to create a beautiful series of vignettes and views. The high windows which wrap around the entire cabin keep the space bathed in beautiful natural light without compromising on privacy. The cabin is also totally off-grid, with all services completely self-contained.

Designed to eventually blend in with its natural surroundings, Slate Cabin is a small manmade wonder, and the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing break.

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Alex Wright, Editor