Sauna is a place to relax. Wood, water and warmth are the main elements of sauna. They are also the baseline of our design. In our work we want to respect the traditions and emphasize the good feeling after going to sauna. The spacious interiors and the soft heat of our sauna attracts one to spend longer times in the space. The simple looks and lighting helps to concentrate to ones own senses, feeling the water, warmth and the scent of wood and to enjoy their cleansing feeling.
The structure is like a huge traditional birch bark basket turned upside down. By lifting the corner of a wall you can enter and see the heart of the sauna. The birch bark wall is protecting the intimate and relaxing ambience, like the bark protects the heart of a tree.
Each birch bark piece in the wall structure has been cut to the right size one by one. The pieces were then sewn together with thin birch bark strings to create longer elements for the braided wall structure. The idea behind the light structure is partly based on a tent sauna made out of fabric or tarp stretched on a wooden structure. To improve the insulation sometimes two layers of fabric is used while making a tent sauna. The light walls of our sauna are supported by a wooden structure that is hidden inside the two layers of braided birch bark structure. The braided walls are slightly lifted from the ground and light passes into the sauna through the narrow strip emphasizing the floating feeling of the structure. The main structure consists of wall and roof elements which makes it possible to dismantle the sauna easily.
Birch bark has been used in Finland for centuries as a construction material and as material for making small objects like baskets and shoes. Birch bark has also various features that improve the human well-being. It contains plenty of natural medicines, which deter mold spores and purify the air. One of birch barks features is good thermal insulation: inside the cold stays cold and hot stays hot. The surface is water repellent and it can be gently washed with water. Some components of birch bark also protects it from decomposing.
Inside the sauna, in the middle of the space, are the main elements wood, water and warmth. The wooden tub with movable seats made out of asp together with a heater create the core of the sauna. The tub can be reached from three sides and the dock-like structure of the movable seats allow a wide range of sitting positions. One can for example lie down or sit with ones legs in the cooling water. The big tub emphasizes the water element creating a feeling of a nearby lake.
The tub also protects from the burning heat of the heater. The heater is made together with Mondex Ltd according to our plans. The design is very minimalistic and the material is brushed stainless steel. The ladle is a floating wooden plate made out of asp which takes it form from the human palm.
After the sauna one can cool down on the wooden bench outside. The bench also functions as a storage space for clothes and towels. The wooden tub, movable seats, the ladle and the wooden bench were done by Carpentry Shop Koivusipilä according to our drawings.