Designed by Avanto Architects, Löyly is a coastal sauna located in Hernesaari, a former industrial area of Helsinki, Finland. It was completed in 2016.
The building is characterised by an irregularly-shaped outer shell that acts as a ‘cloak’, covering the rectangular black box that contains the sauna and restaurant.
Wooden slats and bleachers create the multi-faceted volume of the sauna, allowing visitors to climb up to a viewing platform. The building is relatively low to the ground so that it will not impinge upon sea views for future residents. At ground level, a terrace extends out over the coastline, with a flight of stairs leading down into the sea.
The building is made of blackened concrete and steel and pale Scandinavian birch wood, materials selected for their durability. The external pine cladding was pressed, glued and heat-treated, and is intended to grey with age so that it blends in with the stony coastline.
The developers intend to rediscover the community attachment to public saunas, which have been under threat from the growing popularity of private saunas. Finland, with a population of 5.4 million, has over three million saunas, roughly one per household.
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