The Epic Retreats "Pop-Up Hotel" has recently launched in Wales, featuring eight award-winning tiny cabins, open to the public for a limited time. We recently took a look at the Arthur's Cave glampsite and here are a few more of our favorite tiny spaces on offer, including the gorgeous SkyHut with a retractable roof for star gazing.
Each architect designed cabin was built with a budget of £11,000 (just over US$14,000) and is specifically designed for short-stay glamping. Furthermore, the tiny cabins are constructed from locally sourced Welsh materials; have a footprint smaller than 2.7 m (8.85 ft) wide and 5.7 m (18.7 ft) long (excluding awnings and balconies) and come complete with a king-sized bed, lounge area, wood-burning fire and bathroom facilities with a shower, basin and compost toilet.
"The unique cabins, complemented by our country's stunning landscape, make for an unbeatable experience and we look forward to welcoming our first guests this summer who will get to see Wales in a completely unique setting," says Epic Retreats Co-founder, Llion Pughe.
WG+P architects, in collaboration with Webb Yates Engineers, created the innovative SkyHut with retractable roof. The tiny cabin is inspired by ancient Welsh myths and the art of stargazing, thus offering "an observatory to the heavens."
SkyHut features a timber frame structure; birch plywood is used to clad the interior walls and black corrugated iron clads the exterior. Adopting a tried and tested mechanism from sailing, the fully retractable roof works with a simple geared cable system. Occupants simply use the winch mounted on the wall to wind the roof open, transforming the cabin into a perfect spot to cuddle up next to the fire and enjoy some nighttime star gazing.
"With the doors open too, the Sky Hut can be configured as a glamping-observatory," says WG+P architects. "Upon the turn of a crank handle, it quickly closes again forming a cozy retreat for when the Gods are angered."
The rest of the 9 sq m (96.87 sq ft) cabin is left quite sparse. Furnished with the bare minimum including bedding for two, linen, wood fire and bathroom facilities, the cabin provides a unique glamping experience under the stars.
The Animated Forest
The Animated Forest cabin created by Francis & Arnett architects is a 15 sq m (161.5 sq ft) tiny house on wheels. The cabin is built using a timber structure, stained black timber cladding, plywood interior and Cor-ten steel roofing with skylights. The exterior materials were chosen to age naturally, allowing the cabin to blend into its landscape over time. Francis & Arnett adopted digital modeling and fabrication methods to create the unique cabin in a short amount of time.
The cabin boasts unusual Cor-ten steel skylights, which spike upward out of the dwelling's roof. The skylights fill the interior with natural light while also allowing the occupants to enjoy views of the surrounding forest, sky and even the stars at night. The tiny cabin also features a circular rolling door, which opens the dwelling up to the outdoors. The sleeping quarters are made up of a bespoke leather cushioned bed and padded wall, doubling as a comfy spot to lounge, relax and read a book during the day.
"We wanted to create a memorable space to relax and enjoy the raw aesthetic of nature whilst providing a cosy and comfortable space to relax," says Francis & Arnett. "The exterior is designed to resemble a creature meandering through the landscape."
Dragon's Eye is a 12.5 sq m (34.5 sq ft) tiny cabin built by Welsh architect Carwyn Jones. The dwelling is built with a timber frame, plywood interior, oriented strand board (OSB), stainless steel exterior cladding, scorched Douglas fir wood, cedar, reclaimed slate tiles and sheep's wool for insulation. As its name suggests the structure is built in the form of a dragon's eye, with stainless steel sheets woven together on the outside of the building to resemble dragon scales.
The interior features a round revolving bed next to the floor to ceiling glass window, which makes up the "eye" of the dragon. From here guests can snuggle in bed and enjoy the scenery around them. The cabin also has a wood fire, a lounge area and walk-in wet room/shower made from reclaimed slate tiles.
Less than 200 bookings are available for the Epic Retreats' season, meaning only a handful of lucky travelers will get the opportunity to spend the night in these cabins. Bookings are available from 5-30 June in Southern Snowdonia, followed by 10 July - 11 Sept 2017 in Llŷn Peninsula. Three-night packages start from £795 ($1,020) per couple.
All of the tiny cabins, which received a gold award from Visit Wales, can be viewed in our photo gallery.