The SKYHUT is one of 8 competition winning portable cabins designed and constructed for the Epic Retreats project. The cabins will be positioned across the Welsh countryside over the coming summer, offering a unique glamping experience and coinciding with Wales' Year of Legends – a 12-month celebration of the country's unique mythologies.
The competition brief required the boutique cabins to be inspired by the mythology, tradition and beauty of Wales and to be constructed from Welsh materials. The SKYHUT utilises Welsh timber and is clad in black sinusoidal metal sheeting to acknowledge the role Wales played in the industrialisation of modern Britain.
The cabins were also required to be transportable on a 2.7m-wide, 5.7m-long and 3.4m-high chassis and to feature a shower, compost toilet, double bed, basin, seating area and wood-burning stove. The SKYHUT pushes these boundaries by opening its pitched roof, transforming the cabin into a glamping-observatory and further encompassing Welsh mythology and beauty surrounding the night sky.
The SKYHUT structure is designed to have a 10-year life span and is formed of timber frame walls and floor, supported by the two steel “u-frames” situated at the front and rear walls. An electric actuator opens and closes the two stress skin timber and plywood roof panels, which then cantilever from their steel frame supports. Consideration was given to the behaviour of the structure under wind loading when in its open and closed positions.
In order to minimise deflection of the roof panels and ensure serviceability, the SKYHUT roof is to be opened in wind speeds below 10m/s only. Construction details were carefully coordinated with the architect and design engineer to ensure that the structure met the architectural requirements while remaining practical to build within the limited time and budget.
The 8 winning cabins will be featured on Chanel 4’s “Cabins in the Wild” series starting on the 21st of May 2017.