Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Outbuilding of the Week: A Floating Sauna on a Swedish Shore

Search

Outbuilding of the Week: A Floating Sauna on a Swedish Shore

November 10, 2017

Three hours north of Sweden in a lake district the locals call the Finnskogen (Finnish Forest), a freestanding sauna seems to float above the shimmering water on the shoreline of Lake Bysjön.

Designed by Milan, Italy-based firm Small Architecture Workshop for Belgian clients who own the Stilleben Hotel in Ockelbo, the sauna is a nod to “typical Nordic construction” that reimagines classic Scandinavian spa design, the architects say. Using a prefab shell, for instance, made it possible to build the structure in only two weeks despite the uncertain terrain and what the architects described politely as “the instability of the weather” in the heavily forested region.

Photography by Giulio Marchesi, courtesy of Small Architecture Workshop.

&#8\2\20;The decision to build on a floating platform was suggested by the place itself, characterized by a steep slope towards the lake and the presence of a dense forest of birch trees that would have made it impossible to build near the water without invasive interventions on the ground,&#8\2\2\1; the architects say.
Above: “The decision to build on a floating platform was suggested by the place itself, characterized by a steep slope towards the lake and the presence of a dense forest of birch trees that would have made it impossible to build near the water without invasive interventions on the ground,” the architects say.

Sited at the edge of the lake, the sauna connects land to lake and “becomes a bridge between the ground and the water and relates equally to both elements,” the architects say.

Interior paneling is alder wood, &#8\2\20;traditionally used for the interior claddings of the saunas in Scandinavia.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: Interior paneling is alder wood, “traditionally used for the interior claddings of the saunas in Scandinavia.”
A transparent wall of glass faces the lake, inviting introspection and a vantage point to interact with the landscape &#8\2\20;in any kind of weather.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: A transparent wall of glass faces the lake, inviting introspection and a vantage point to interact with the landscape “in any kind of weather.”
The view across the lake.
Above: The view across the lake.
 The sauna&#8\2\17;s exterior walls, inspired by the Japanese tradition of shou sugi ban, are clad in charred fir panels. The burnt surface weather- and pest-resistant.
Above: The sauna’s exterior walls, inspired by the Japanese tradition of shou sugi ban, are clad in charred fir panels. The burnt surface weather- and pest-resistant.
The charred wood siding, the architects say, &#8\2\20;highlights the structure of the wood and at the same time the nuance obtained helps to mitigate the visual impact of the building. Even from a chromatic point of view the new intervention becomes an element of an interface between the dark waters of the lake and forest behind it.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: The charred wood siding, the architects say, “highlights the structure of the wood and at the same time the nuance obtained helps to mitigate the visual impact of the building. Even from a chromatic point of view the new intervention becomes an element of an interface between the dark waters of the lake and forest behind it.”
The sauna&#8\2\17;s floating platform is also a dock where canoes and small boats are tethered (replacing a wooden pier that previously occupied the site).
Above: The sauna’s floating platform is also a dock where canoes and small boats are tethered (replacing a wooden pier that previously occupied the site).
 The main sauna room can accommodate up to eight people.
Above: The main sauna room can accommodate up to eight people.

N.B.: More saunas, Scandianavian style:

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0