Warm In Winter: Our Seven Favorite Saunas


As the days get shorter and the cold starts to bite, there are few things more pleasurable than the warmth of a sauna.

Promising an experience steeped in myth and intrigue, the sauna lies at the very heart of many northern societies, as a space for relaxing, socializing, purifying and meditating. From a golden orb in far north Lapland, to a boat traversing the waters of Seattle’s lakes, we’ve collected the seven most intriguing saunas featured on IGNANT.

Löyly Sauna · Helsinki, Finland

Together, Ville Hara and Anu Puustinen of local architect firm Avanto created a shell-like complex that juts out of Helsinki’s harbor, almost as if it is part of the landscape itself. Heated by woodfire, the ‘Löyly Sauna’ is not for the faint of heart—but certainly for those who like the heat.


Image © Johannes Romppanen & Risto Törrö of Duotone

One Man Sauna · Bochum, Germany

Constructed by Modulorbeat on an abandoned factory site, the ‘One Man Sauna’ is housed within a tower that measures 7.5 meters tall. Made of stacked concrete parts, the structure is divided into layers linked by ladders. A plunge pool sits on the ground level, the sauna on the middle level, and a relaxation room with a view of the sky on top.


Image © Jan Kampshoff & Roman Mensing

Grotto Sauna · Toronto, Canada

Perched at the north-west edge of a private island close to Toronto, the ‘Grotto Sauna’ by Partisans is a sculpted space that was modeled using a state of the art 3-D technology. The simple exterior hides a dynamic interior whose curved form mimics the movement of air.


Image © Partisans

Wa_Sauna · Seattle, America

Following in the Scandinavian tradition of saunas as a place for gathering, goCstudio created ‘wa_sauna’ to provide a place for friends to share a unique experience on the water. The sauna is powered by an electric trolling motor, allowing it to quietly explore Seattle’s lakes.


Image © Kevin Scott

Solar Egg · Kiruna, Sweden

Bigert & Bergström have created the ‘Solar Egg’, a golden orb that is a public sauna and art installation. Opened in Kiruna, this golden egg draws inspiration from the local climate—where winter brings round-the-clock darkness, and the sauna: illumination.


All images © Jean-Baptiste Béranger for Bigert & Bergström

The Bands · Klevian, Norway

The students from The Scarcity and Creativity Studio at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design created a seaside sauna that stretches over the cliffs into the North Sea. ‘The Bands’ is situated in Kleivan, Norway, an abandoned fishing village north of the Polar Circle.


Public Sauna · Gothenburg, Sweden

Berlin-based architecture office Raumlabor designed an unconventional elevated public sauna in the Frihamnen port of Gothenburg. From the outside, the building has an industrial appearance, but the interior is a warm and welcoming sauna.


All images © Raumlabor

Applesauna · Saltau, Italy

For a hotel in Northern Italy, Noa* Network built the ‘Apple Sauna‘ for the Apfelhotel that sits enveloped by its natural surrounds.


All images © Noa* Network

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