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Issue 7.1

Löyly Sauna

Löyly sauna’s unique timber cladding is designed with circular economy principles using invaluable small-scale timber normally used to produce just pulp. The façade structure’s aging is studied in detail to minimize the maintenance costs, and special attention was paid to details so that singular lamellas can be replaced easily. The building is situated in Hernesaari, a former industrial area developed into a new residential area. The plot is part of the narrow Helsinki coastal park connecting the capital city to the sea. The sauna is a free-form faceted construction, more like an artificial landform in the park than a conventional building (Figure 1). Now that the wooden building has turned gray, it looks like one of the rocks on the shoreline. The architectural idea is simple: there is a rectangular black box containing all the warm spaces covered with a free-form wooden “cloak” that provides people inside with visual privacy (Figure 2). It shades the interior spaces with large glass surfaces and reduces the use of energy to cool the building. The construction forms a big outdoor auditorium to watch the activities on the sea (Figure 2).

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