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Löyly by Avanto Architects, Helsinki, Finland, 2016

The folded wooden envelope provides a place for locals to meet, creating a transitional social zone between the intimate spaces of the interior and the urban space of the waterfront

Although Finns have a reputation for being sauna-mad, the Finnish public sauna is in decline, displaced by private domestic examples. In recent years, several attempts have been made to reverse this trend, among them Tuomas Toivonen and Nene Tsuboi’s subtly fascinating Kulttuurisauna on Helsinki’s harbour, with its columns and rooftop pyramid. Recently, this has been joined by a larger sauna in the dockland development area of Hernesaari, which is intended to help bring new life to the former industrial zone. The folded wooden envelope of the building, with its extensive decking – from which you can dive into icy seawater, should you wish – and traversable roof, provides a place for locals to meet, and thus creates a transitional social zone between the intimate spaces of the interior and the urban space of the waterfront. The name of the building, Löyly, comes from the old Finnish word for spirit or soul. In current usage it denotes the steam that rises from the hot rocks within saunas.

Löyly by avanto architects drawings

Löyly by avanto architects drawings

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This is a case study from Typology: Bathhouse in AR February 2018, click here to read now

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