FESTIVAL SAUNA, NORWAY
SURROUNDED BY DENSE FOREST you only hear the water flowing in the river and the occasional strike of the axe as bathers chop more firewood for the wooden stove. The site itself and the walk up to it gave inspiration to the design. Arriving on a tractor road leading from the farm, you have to cross the river on the farmer’s bridge to reach the bank with the sauna. This walk from the public to the protected and the entering of a closed room where you may well sit all naked right next to a total stranger gave us the ideas for the orientation of the different parts of the structure.
The only window in the sauna room, sitting up behind the bathers’ necks, provides a view of treetops and the sky. The heat source is an old wooden stove from the farm. A small annexe for changing clothes and storing firewood is added as a freestanding continuation of the main form. The annexe floor serves as a bench for those who are out to get fresh air or who have just come up from the cold waters of the river after a dip. Once you close the door, it becomes darker, and all you hear are the sounds of the fire in the stove and the hiss of water thrown on hot rocks.
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