Architectural Inspo: Wales' Slate Cabin

Natural light and reclaimed slate make this one-room cabin the ultimate writer's retreat

Though the so-called “starchitects” of the world may lead many to believe the more wild and wondrous a structure is, the better its design, we’ll continue agreeing with Australian studio TRIAS in that architecture should be solid, simple, and beautiful. Proper minimalism will always last the test of time. And you can’t get much more minimal than this one-room, off-grid cabin erected on the edge of Snowdonia National Park in Wales.

Set in a lush green valley and surrounded by windswept hills with little vegetation to speak of, Slate Cabin is a modest refuge among a harsh landscape. Aptly named, Slate Cabin is indeed covered in slate—salvaged from surrounding farms and arranged like oversized shingles—further connecting the cabin to the surround landscape. The material is central to Wales, as the country is quite literally built on top of, and out of, slate. Stone farmhouses have stood for centuries, and this tiny retreat aims to pay homage to this.

While the exterior is stark and dark, the interior is anything but. Natural light streams in from 360 degrees of windows set just below the flat roof, illuminating the warm, unstained wood interior. Within the cabin is a main room arranged around a raised platform bed—a sizable desk (the owner of the cabin is a writer), shelves, and a small table setting all built directly into the surrounding structure. An appropriately sized wood stove and bathroom make up the remainder of the footprint.

Some say a design, be it a garment, furniture, or building, isn’t finished until nothing more can be taken away. If that is in fact the case, then Slate Cabin is perfect.

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