Slate Cabin – A Tiny Writer’s Retreat Set Among the Hills of Snowdonia in Wales

This tiny cabin can be found on the periphery of Snowdonia’s National Park in Mid Wales. It’s been built as a writer’s retreat and has been dubbed Slate Cabin, thanks to its eponymous use of the material as external cladding.


Slate Cabin has been designed by TRIAS Studio and built by RBW Carpentry. They incorporated slate into the design, not only for its practicality, but also because of its usage historically, and its ability to tie the cabin to the landscape.



The retreat contains an area of 148.54-square-feet (13.8-square-meters). They managed to configure and kit-out this small area with everything a writer could want from a quiet getaway. This extends to the landscape – the cabin is set in the midst of a green valley, surrounded by pastures and hills.

From the architects: “In response to this beautiful and yet harsh landscape, the cabin is a reductive black box… Slate Cabin is inspired by the very bedrock of Wales – its slate. Wales is a unique landscape, scattered with stone-strewn mountains, abandoned quarries and old slate homes. These qualities encouraged us to base our design around this local and historically significant material.”



The dark black exterior is met with a much brighter and lighter interior. The inside is finished with plywood throughout, from the walls and ceiling, to the storage units and living spaces (such as the kitchen). The majority of the cabin is closed off to direct views of the outside, bar a long narrow picture window set in from of the writing desk.

The interior layout is simple and smart. A small entrance hallway leads through to a dining area for two. To your right you have the kitchen and bathroom. While the left features the bedroom and writing desk. Storage isn’t a big aspect of this project as it’s designed for short getaways only.


From the architects: “All services are self-contained, which means that the cabin operates off-the-grid… 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.”

For more tiny houses check out Puxadinho, an affordable rooftop guest house by Vaga. Or, this tiny translucent home by SO-IL and Mini, that’s designed to be resource efficient. See all tiny houses.

Photos © Jonathon Donnelly

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.