Popular as part of the Finnish culture, saunas have spread all over the world and are widely recognized for a myriad of health benefits it has to offer.
These small rooms designed for having dry or wet heat sessions is known to reduce stress, flush toxins, cleanse our skin and even improve our cardiovascular performance. Saunas, however, have evolved with time and have become mobile and compact to fit the need of urban environments. Popular design studios around the world have developed some of the most inspiring modern sauna designs that include a floating sauna on lakes, a compact sauna that can be attached within the apartment interiors and also a tabletop “world’s smallest sauna on earth”.
If you are one of those avid sun goers looking to relax and boost your overall feeling of wellness with heat sessions, here’s a list of 10 most beautiful modern sauna designs for your inspiration!
Gold-Mirrored Solar Egg Sauna in Sweden
Developed by Mats Bigert and Lars Bergström, this distinctive public sauna known as “Solar Egg” is made up of 69 pieces of gold-plated steel that makes the exterior and a pine wood interior. There’s a wood-heated, heart shaped sauna stove at the core that’s made up of iron and stone. Located in Luossabacken in Kiruna, the shape of the sauna symbolizes rebirth of the district and also as a homage to the region’s iron ore fields. The entire structure can be de-constructed piece-by-piece and can be transported to other locations easily. The Solar Egg is a warm welcome to locals and visitors to immerse in a unique sauna experience.
S1: Expandable Sauna Design by Klafs
If space is something that’s keeping you away from having your own sauna room, the klafs S1 retractable sauna system is just for you! The German company has created a completely self-contained, mobile sauna system that is not more than the size of your closet. With just a press of a button, the sauna can extend up to 60 centimeters in just 20 seconds. There’s also a reclining bench inside that you can pull once the cabin is expanded. The system also features a flush-mounted LED lighting system and loudspeakers that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
Goteborg Bathing Culture by Raumlabor
The “Goteborg bathing culture” is a sauna built by Raumblor in Frihammen, at the industrial harbor of Göthenburg in Sweden. The concept is using a new type of experience to link water, land and surrounding neighborhood using an unevenly shaped sauna building that’s made out of corrugated metal sheets. The interior of the sauna is mostly made up of wood and has views of the harbor. Raumblor built the sauna for not only to be used for relaxation, but also as a space for social gatherings.
Löyly Sauna in Finland by Avanto Architects
Designed by Avanto Architects, “Löyly” public sauna was completed in January this year along the Finnish coastline in Hernesaari. The project was a part of an initiative to revive the old industrial area into a residential hub and accommodate increased tourism and public facilities. Wood is a dominant material in designing the sauna. The exterior envelope is composed of 4,000 pinewood planks that together form a large scale Venetian blind screening system. There’s also an outdoor amphitheater, at the rooftop that serves as a gathering space while providing structural cover to the entire built environment.
One-Man Sauna in Germany by Modulorbeat
Made up of pre-cast concrete parts, the “one man sauna” was built by Modulorbeat as a part of the art festival DAS DETROIT-PROJEKT in Bochum. The 7.5-meter tall tower is located on an abandoned factory site and houses sauna, a pool and a relaxation space stacked onto each other. The top of the tower opens partially to provide an outside view.
Sauna Huginn & Muninn by ATELIER FORTE
This handmade outdoor sauna in Piacenza hills, Italy, is named after the two legendary ravens of the Norse god Odin, Huginn (thought) & Munnin (memory). Made up of spruce wood, the sauna can accommodate two people and is powered by the traditional wood stove. The wall portholes of the structure frame the sunset and a warm light floods through the small space.
Grotto Sauna in Canada by Partisans
Situated on a private island, north of Toronto, Canada, the sauna is designed by local studio Partisans, imagining grotto – a cave-like volume that’s often found near water. Its interiors take the form of air movements with large apertures providing views across the bay. The exterior is in contrast to the interior, using simple timber-clad elevations, blending with the region’s rugged terrain. The sauna was built using 3D technology to scan, model and build the environment.
Vala Sauna in Estonia by Flooded – International Summer School
Developed by Flooded, an International Summer School, the Vala Sauna is in the swamplands and derives its name from the built-in shower facility, which gathers rainwater collected on the roof. The design is inspired by the changing and challenging environments of the flooded area and includes a shelter, sauna and fireplace. It is open for free use for the public and is maintained by Estonian Forest Management Center.
Smallest Sauna on Earth by Marcis Ziemins
Marcis Ziemins came up with the idea of creating a tabletop version of sauna to illustrate how the sauna-culture that’s popular in Latvia is forgotten amidst busy urban lifestyles. While this miniature version may not give the same feeling, Marcis hopes that it will encourage people to relax a bit and try to get the real sauna-experience. The smallest sauna introduces people to the basic principles of sauna experience through the smell, sound and ambiance of water striking hot rocks within the interior space.
Mobile DW Sauna by Denizen Works
London-based studio Denizen Works designed this mobile sauna for the cold Nordic climate. With a budget of £3k, the sauna is built on runners, so that it can be towed to frozen shores during the winter. Comprising of traditional material and heating mechanisms, this 6-sqm mobile sauna is perfect to warm yourself after dipping into icy cold waters.