In Europe, sauna has been an essential part of their culture for centuries, with often spectacular rituals and facilities. But now, Europe is reinventing the sauna experience, with everything from “Sauna Aufguss,” or sauna as a genuinely theatrical event. Saunas are getting reinvented, and sweating will get more spectacular and social in the years ahead.
The Aufguss is a wellness/purification/entertainment ritual performed in the sauna, either by an employee of the wellness center or by an authorized guest called aufgussmeister (Steam Master).
The rite involves pouring water mixed with essential oils on the hot stones of the sauna stove. The water, which contains essential oil particles, vaporizes once in contact with the rocks and spreads throughout the sauna. The Aufgussmeister directs the hot and scented steam towards the bathers, using the different rhythmical movements and sometimes accompanied by music background, creating an intense and enjoyable multi-sensory experience.
Sauna & Art
Located in Roppongi, teamLab Reconnect combines a traditional sauna with the group’s otherworldly art.
The exhibition consists of three areas designed to invigorate your senses: the sauna, a cold water bath for cooling-off, and the art bath. The new artworks are all based on supernatural phenomena and are designed to combine different mental and physical sensations into a unified experience.
The Sauna Reinvention
The sauna reinvention trend is taking other forms:
Massive saunas where up to 300 people can do sauna together.
Saunas as cool community spaces with restaurants and entertainment.
Saunas located deep in nature, where people can truly disconnect and enjoy a sauna experience.