Text description provided by the architects. Miller Kendrick have completed the build of their competition winning entry for a of ‘pop-up hotel’ cabin located at Castell y Bere, Wales.
The cabin, known as ‘Arthur’s Cave’, was one of eight winning entries for the Epic Retreats - a partnership between holiday cottage from Best of Wales, tour operator Cambria Tours and George & Tomos Architects. The project was part funded by the Welsh Government’s Tourism Product Innovation Fund.
The cabin will be featured as part of Channel 4’s ‘Cabins in the Wild with Dick Strawbridge’ documentary series. The construction of this cabin is due to air on 4th June.
The design takes its inspiration from the ancient landscape of Wales but utilises modern construction techniques. The structure is a combination of CNC-cut birch plywood ribs and sheathing panels, which act together to form a composite structure. The structural ribs are comprised of either three or five individual sections of plywood, tightly fitted together using ‘jigsaw’ joints with a high degree of tolerance. As a single internal material, the plywood provides both structure, finish, fixtures and fittings - including a plywood sink and bath. The faceted envelope is clad in locally- sourced Welsh larch boards stained black, with sheep’s wool insulation part- filling the cavity.
Wherever possible the project has sought to use locally sourced materials. The sheep’s wool insulation is from Ty-Mwar. The green larch cladding is from Esgair Forest who’s saw mill is adjacent to the site in neighbouring village of Machynlleth.
The cabin is heated via a small log burner, has hot and cold water, LED lighting powered via photovoltaics and a self composting WC.
The construction of the cabin took four weeks to complete. The build was managed and built by EJ Ryder Ltd. who also assisted in the detailed design and provided expert knowledge of plywood construction and prefabrication techniques. The cabin was built with the Burford Farm Project in Shepton Mallet. The structural engineers were Momentum Engineering, London, and the cost consultant was PMP Consultants, Birmingham.
Miller Kendrick Architects Ltd. is a new architectural practice based in London and the West Midlands. It was established in 2015 by Paul Miller and Michael Kendrick to explore innovative ways of working in architecture and to research new methods of construction.