The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd

Tourism

Into the wild

Inspired by Welsh legends, eight cabins have appeared across Wales as part of the Epic Retreats pop up hotel project


A dragon’s eye, King Arthur’s cave and Wales’s mining industry – these are the inspirations behind three of the eight pop up cabins that have launched in Wales as part of the Epic Retreats hotel project.

Several architectural teams were chosen through a competitive tender to design the purpose-built glamping units, which are themed around, “the mythology, tradition and beauty of Wales.”

Launched to coincide with Wales’s ‘Year of Legends,’ Epic Retreats is designed to immerse visitors in the country’s heritage and natural beauty. The cabins opened in the foothills of Snowdonia in June, and relocated to the Llyn Peninsula after a month, where they will be available to book until September.

The project is a partnership between Best of Wales, Cambria Tours and George + Tomos Architects and is part funded by the Welsh Government’s Tourism Product Innovation Fund.

We take a look at the cabins, with descriptions by Epic Retreats.

Dragon’s Eye

Created by Carwyn Lloyd Jones

Tread carefully — there’s a dragon lurking in the landscape.

With its stainless steel scaly ‘skin’ and gridshell roof, the Dragon’s Eye pod has been designed to fire the imagination.

Guests can relax on the round rotating bed and enjoy the view of the Welsh landscape through the full height glass ‘eye.’ The cabin has a wood burner and is insulated against the unpredictable Welsh weather by sheep’s wool insulation.

It also features a walk-in wet room clad in reclaimed slate tiles.

Dragon’s Eye / Photos: Epic Retreats
Dragon’s Eye Photos: Epic Retreats
Dragon’s Eye
Dragon’s Eye

Slate Cabin

Created by Trias Studio

Mimicking the art of constructing cairns, whereby walkers collect stones and build place-markers along their route — a raw, unclad building will be gradually transformed through layers of slate, forming a textured, stylish exterior.

A neat structure of slate, the cabin has been designed to fit effortlessly into its surroundings.

In contrast to its grey slate exterior, inside guests will find a single, cosy room clad with honeyed wood. A kitchen and built-in table form a sitting space, while the bed sits on a raised platform providing a magnificent view of the surrounding scenery.

A table overlooking a framed view completes this quiet retreat, which is ideal for guests wanting to write, read or just relax.

Slate Cabin
Slate Cabin
Slate Cabin
Slate Cabin

Animated Forest

Created by Francis Arnett

Inspired by the Welsh poem, Cad Goddeu, or The Battle of the Trees, the Cabin in the Woods is designed to resemble a creature negotiating its way through the woodland.

The cosy hideaway envelops guests in a padded sleeping area extending to the wall and ceiling, while roof lights make the cabin bright and airy during the day and reveal views of the starry sky at night.

Whether guests choose to huddle up by the fire, or open the large entrance door to watch the world go by, this cabin is billed as the ultimate retreat.

Animated Forest
Animated Forest

Miner’s Legend

Created by How About Studio

Miner’s Legend is a tribute to the once-thriving mining industry, central to Wales’ rural communities.

At first glance, the cabin is a collage of mining structures and corrugated iron sheds seen scattered through the Welsh landscape.

Visitors are invited to enter the red cabin by crawling through an entrance tunnel. Once inside,
angular corridors ‘play carefully with light and material to transport your imagination to the subterranean mines’.

Visitors continue their journey through a collection of cavernous spaces, before arriving in the full height main ‘chamber’. The upstairs bedroom offers panoramic views of the landscape, and the cabin features a woodburning stove and solar powered lights

Miner’s Legend
Miner’s Legend

Little Dragon

Created by Barton Wilmore Architects

Inspired by the iconic emblem of Wales, Barton Wilmore Architects’ Little Dragon cabin has been created using locally sourced sustainable materials.

The scaly shingle exterior and claw-like tripod base are evocative of the dragon that, according to legend, once dominated the country’s rugged landscape.

The cabin is a vertical structure and consists of two main elements: the main cylindrical timber framed pod and the steel legs structure which fix the pod firmly to the ground.

Inside, soft furnishings and a roaring log fire provide a homely experience, while the cylindrical design delivers panoramic views of the surrounding scenery.

The Little Dragon cabin sleeps two in a circular double bed, and has an en suite shower, basin and compost toilet.

Little Dragon
Little Dragon

SkyHut

Created by Waind Gohil + Potter Architects

Skyhut provides a unique setting to experience Wales’ night sky. Named as the country with the highest percentage of ‘International Dark Sky’, Wales boasts exceptional views, especially at night.

The designers of this hut took inspiration from the myth of Welsh mountain, Cadair Idris, where legend states that travellers sleeping out at night awake as madmen or poets.

An electric actuator opens and closes the roof panels, turning the cabin into a ‘glamping-observatory’ and providing unobstructed views of the night sky. The hut uses Welsh timber and is clad in black sinusoidal metal sheeting to acknowledge the role Wales played in the industrialisation of modern Britain.

SkyHut
SkyHut

Arthur’s Cave

Created by Miller Kendrick Architects

Based on the legend of the cave slept in by King Arthur and his knights while travelling, Miller Kendrick Architects’ cabin is made from birch plywood ribs and sheathing panels, clad in black-stained, locally-sourced Welsh larch boards.

The cabin is heated via a small log burner, has hot and cold water, LED lighting powered via photovoltaics and a self composting WC.

Arthur’s Cave
Arthur’s Cave
company profile
Company profile: TLEE Spas + Wellness
Having designed and managed some of the most renowned spas in the world, Tracy has carved out a reputation of steady leadership and innovation recognised throughout the industry.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Partners clockwise from bottom right: Alexandra Champalimaud, Ed Bakos, Winston Kong, John Kastl
Bakos joined Champalimaud in December 2012. He previously worked for the Rockwell Group
"Construction is one of the largest generators of landfill waste, so it is important to create spaces that transcend trends"

It’s time for a new approach to sustainability, argues Champalimaud’s managing director

Scheeren decided to leave OMA and establish his own practice in 2010. 
He now has offices in four major cities
According to Ole Scheeren, the best buildings are the ones that tell us stories
"Economic value can be achieved by a sense of generosity towards the public domain"

The architect behind Beijing’s CCTV Headquarters and the Taipei Performing Arts Center talks form, fiction and fantasy with Kim Megson

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Andreas Nygaard
"Should a thousand year wave occur, you’ll be completely safe"

A sneak preview of one of the world’s largest underwater restaurants

Mikyoung Kim created a sculptural fog fountain for Chapel Hill
Mikyoung Kim
"Nature isn’t rigid. It’s open-ended; that’s its beauty"

The Boston-based landscape architect on blending art and science to design creative spaces that bring communities closer

Our vision is to facilitate reconciliation, through the essential values of cricket
RCSF
"The inspiration for the design comes from the green rolling hills of Rwanda and the trace of a bouncing cricket ball - Michael Ramage"

The people creating a pioneering cricket stadium that’s helping to heal wounds in Rwanda

features
Christoph Ingenhoven has championed sustainable architecture for more than 30 years. He is Super Jury member at this year’s World Architecture Festival
"At Lanserhof, you spend your money and it’s difficult and exhausting, but you feel as though you’re doing something very good for yourself and maybe also for others "

How Ingenhoven’s experience as a guest informed the design of the Lanserhof medical spas

BIG is working closely with Virgin Hyperloop One on the Hyperloop plans
“If BIG had been founded for one project, it would have been Lego House,” says Ingels
"We want to take responsibility and initiative in giving form to our future"

The BIG founder talks about Lego House Mars Science City and the role of his team in BIG’s success

Profile: Caroline Bos
Bos studied history of art in London and urban and regional planning at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands
"I like art that is against the mainstream, slightly off, with a twist"

UNStudio’s co-founder on the unexpected challenges of designing Australia’s tallest skyscraper

cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
cladkit product news
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
Ojmar introduces battery-free electronic locker to cut carbon footprints in health clubs and spas
Ojmar says the batteryless lock is easy to install and features a user-friendly interface
Megan Whitby
Smart lock manufacturer Ojmar has released the OTS20 Batteryless – the first battery-free electronic locker lock on the market. The ...
cladkit product news
CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
The event will allow buyers and suppliers to meet
Magali Robathan
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo ...
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd