A new generation of architects are rewriting sauna design. The powerful trend: sauna as the new social, community-creating “hangout”
You see it in Gothenberg, Sweden’s new design-forward, port-side, public sauna, made of recycled, rusted steel, and built for “cultural debate, hedonism and business” or in Prague-based H3T Architekti’s quirky, saunais-for-everyone, mobile/pop-up concepts: from floating saunas in lakes or saunas hanging from bridges to saunas on wheels.
Löyly Public sauna
Helsinki, Finland’s stunning public waterfront sauna complex, Löyly, an eco-friendly pyramid composed of wooden slats, with the saunas (including an ancient, antioxidant Finnish smoke sauna), vast terraces, and restaurant all open to the sea. And where after a social steam you can jump in the harbor or through a hole in the ice in winter.
SAUNA The Well
The Well (near Oslo, Norway), the Nordic region’s largest bathhouse. A new, sprawling, three-level fantasia of 15 saunas (from a jungle sauna to a cinema sauna to an Austrian loft sauna where Aufguss events are performed) – with 11 pools and 100 showers set to attract 100,000 daycationers a year.
SALT’s Arctic amphitheater sauna
The Norwegian cultural project SALT’s Arctic amphitheater sauna, the largest (and certainly one of the coolest) public saunas in the world, where 100 people gather for “group sweatins” on tiered benches facing the Norwegian Sea (looking out through a wall of glass) – all while experiencing theater, readings and art exhibits (or having a cocktail at the bar while grooving to Norwegian electronica.) A portable project, the vast SALT sauna is set to move to northern cities in places like Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, Alaska and Russia after 2016.
Hot Box Sauna (sCOTLAND)
The brand-new Hot Box Sauna, the first set on a Scottish loch (Loch Tay), with panoramic lake views, and an evening DJ area and bar.