In the simplest definition, a sauna is a room designed to experience heat sessions. Typically, it’s a heated room with either steam or radiated heat. Its purpose is to have a place to relax and, sometimes, heal the body.
A challenging task for commercial sauna design is knowing how to turn this heating box into an oasis for customers who want to return for the experience and an escape. Many owners will consult with an architect or business development professional to achieve this. They will assist in opening the doorway to construct the most creative spaces with the look, feel, touch, and treatment unique for the ultimate getaway.
Some spas are beautiful and traditional, and others are weird and quirkily that most will never forget. Here are the most bizarre saunas in the world, each one stranger than the next.
A Unique Underwater Sauna Design
The Ästad Vingård, in Sweden
Some people wish to swim with the fish. What about having a spa day with them? At Astad, their saunas are located underneath a lake nestled within rolling organic farmland and on the edge of Åkulla Bokskogar nature reserve. Accessed by a ladder, the room is surrounded by glass walls and a steamed, heated room. After the steamy heat of the sauna session, guests plunge into icy waters as a cool-off. This commercial sauna design concept is by Daniel Carlssonhe. The location also brings the outside sounds in by recording authentic sounds and mixing them with subtle melodies to evoke new sensations. In addition, each spa environment also has a fragrance composition inspired by nature reserves, like warm forest soil, moist autumn leaves, and freshly sawn timber. The scents have been developed together with a Swedish fragrance house.
Stay Warm in the Ice
The Pyhäpiilo Sauna Resort, in Finland
What do you get when you mix high temperatures and ice? A sauna, of course. The materials are ice and wood. Ice for the sauna walls and floors, and wood for the seats. Make your reservations quickly; the sauna sessions last until the ice melts.
Like with igloos, ice is an excellent insulator to keep hot temperatures inside. The temperature is slightly lower than in traditional saunas at 70 degrees Celsius. The steam that comes out of this sauna makes for an extraordinary sensation. The coolness of the surrounding materials plays an essential role in this sensation.
Sauna from Finland built this commercial sauna design concept mostly with ice cubes. However, safety guidelines say the roof had to be made of wood boards. The sauna stove is a traditional wood-burning stove. The air inside the Ice Sauna is incredibly soft and humid. This high humidity and a lower temperature than average make breathing easier. The bather sweats a lot in the Ice Sauna. It is known that sweating energizes the surface of blood flow. Guests are only allowed to enter the sauna with instructions or a guide. The sauna master will always stand at the door of the Ice Sauna during the experience to ensure everything goes safely.
The World is Going Mobile, So Is Your Sauna
Left Coast Sauna, from California, USA
When you need to relax on the go, why not use a mobile spa? Founder Nick Klein created a six-person sauna in a cedar barrel and put it on wheels. It was initially thought to be a rentable space for special events. The 6-person 100% cedar sauna is mounted onto an industrial-grade trailer and retrofitted gas stove. A 40,000 BTU furnace powers the stove and ranges from 160 to 190 degrees, dry and wet. Ecotone is currently working on similar concepts of mobile cabins, read more.
Breathtaking View From the Sauna
The Bands, in Norway
The unexpected wood structure stretches out over rocks by the seashore on one of Norway’s Lofoten Islands. The complex, designed by Oslo School of Architecture and Design students, is built in a former fishing village near an abandoned fisherman’s house and buildings once used for salting cod and producing cod-liver oil. The sauna is a 160-square-foot sauna that includes a sunken hot tub and picnic area. The Bands are constructed to move independently, creating shifts and offsets that allow the light to come inside and generate the different spaces within it.
The completely open front facade offers an exceptional view of the landscape. Once the band has wrapped the sauna, the lateral ones go close to the ground to generate the main terrace. In contrast, the central band splits into a table and benches with an integrated barbecue. In the lowest part of the quay, The Bands continue creating a fish-cleaning table and steps to connect the different heights.
Ecotone specializes in designing and building natural spaces for rejuvenation. With 10 years in the sector, Ecotone is the expert in all commercial sauna design in the Big Apple. Our professional team will make the process as easy and stress-free as possible, from in-house technical design and fabrication to commercial construction management & specialty trade contracting.
We have designed spas and indoor gardens in New York City and around the U.S. We can’t wait to design and construct the perfect oasis for you. If interested in spa or indoor garden design-build services, fill up this form and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.
Header image ref: Adventure Mine Sauna Dalarna, Sweden