TRIAS' slate cabin fits perfect in the welsh highlands

TRIAS' slate cabin fits perfect in the welsh highlands

‘slate cabin’ is a writer’s retreat set in a lush green valley, ringed by windswept hills and grazing pastures located in mid wales and inspired by the very bedrock of wales – its slate. the site has a unique landscape, scattered with stone-strewn mountains, abandoned quarries, and old slate homes. these qualities have encouraged the architects to base the design around this local and historically significant material.

the interior space is characterized by a long slot window, which frames a panorama of the landscape



the australian based studio TRIAS has envisioned ‘slate cabin’ as a visual infrastructure for cataloguing welsh slate. the exterior of the cabin is covered in local stone, which is fixed to the oversized shingles. these recycled slate tiles were reclaimed from nearby farms, and are mottled and pockmarked with weather and time. they result in a building that is at home in the hills, with a rugged and rustic appearance. in essence, the building is a simple, rectangular volume. the exterior is dark and muted, with a contrasting interior that is honeyed and warm.

a built-in seat and dining table form a cozy dining space



the spatial organization is simple, with a single room for essential activities — sleeping, cooking, resting and relaxing — and a bathroom tucked behind. the main room is designed as a crafted piece of woodwork. subtle shifts and steps are used to differentiate between functions, creating rooms within a larger volume. the bed sits up on a raised platform, and pulls back to provide space for a seat and desk. the bed head, meanwhile, wraps around to house a built in seat and table. this acts as a cozy place to share meals, which can be cooked on a small wood-burning stove. elsewhere, storage and shelves are artfully integrated. stairs to the bed platform become a space to store books and shoes, while a shelf above the bathroom acts as a slot for hiking packs.

the bed platform pulls back at one end, providing a space to sit, read, and write



all services are self-contained, which means that the cabin operates off-the-grid. throughout the cabin, openings are carefully considered to capture small vignettes. along one wall, a slot window frames a long and panoramic landscape of mountains and fields. meanwhile, a continuous lantern of high windows bathe the space in natural light. glancing up to these windows, glimpses of distant hills and swaying branches are revealed.

a lantern of high windows disperse natural light throughout the interior



to create a serene experience, ‘slate cabin’ is built of as few materials as possible. soft, gentle textures intentionally contrast the stark stone exterior. almost all of the surfaces are lined in birch plywood, which softly diffuses the light. the ceilings are draped in a woven hessian, a playful reference to the rural context. the architectural approach explores the tension between permanence and impermanence, the efficient act of prefabrication and the slow beauty lent by natural materials. the building bears the traces of time and is designed to blend in to its rural setting.

the kitchenette is lined in birch plywood, containing a ceramic sink and burnished fittings

a small wood-burning stove heats the cabin, providing a place for cooking meals

storage is integrated throughout the cabin, with the steps to the bed platform acting as a place to store books

a high shelf above the bathroom door becomes a place for stashing hiking packs

floor plan

exploded axonometric

design model



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

  • Beautiful little project … simplicity

    Leonardo Sideri says:
  • A beautifully simple concept, very well executed. A joy forever.

    raymondo says:
  • nice small solutution. any chance of getting the name/producer of that woodburning stove?

    michael snoek says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
491,072 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample