New British Design, Cornwall, 2017


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All photos George Fielding except Roy Riley (photos rr k1 - rr k6)     Download Original

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The project placed four unique wilderness cabins – or ‘kudhva’ – in a disused slate quarry on the North Cornwall coast.

The cabins are intended to be the first phase of a wider masterplan for the site offering the public the chance to experience small scale, off-grid experimental architecture. The design had to be a movable structure that was capable of being manufactured off site and then transported to its intended location as a complete unit.

This prefabricated structure offered a flexibility in its approach with offsite manufacture in the controlled conditions of a workshop ensuring a higher quality product compared to that built out in the open.

The word ‘kudhva’ come from the Cornish for ‘hideout’ and was the touchstone for developing the brief for these secluded retreats. The cabins are intended to offer a unique perspective on the Cornish landscape from their elevated position among the trees.

Built by boat builder turned furniture maker Toby Sharp with a small team of master craftsmen in a nearby workshop, the cabins were then assembled and transported to site before being craned onto their cradle bases.

The cabins are constructed from structural, insulated paged-pine panels with an EDPM rubber membrane covering. A larch slatted skin covers the cabin that is elevated above the ground on turned pine poles.

The entirely off-grid project is now open to the public with the cabins available to rent. The site also hosts a temporary scaffolding reception building offering a canteen as well as toilets and showers.


  • Begun: Jan 2017
  • Completed: Aug 2017
  • Floor area: 4m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £120,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jan 2017
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: Kudhva, The Prince of Wales Quarry, Trebarwith Strand, Cornwall, PL34 0HH, United Kingdom

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