Every sauna resembles one another, right? A small cubicle with interior made from wood, somewhat claustrophobic and dark? Well, not this one. This is the Ferrari of saunas. Incredibly spacious, sophisticated in appearance and definitely hard to miss, Grotto Sauna is a unique specimen in the world of saunas. Designed by a Canadian studio Partisans, which was founded by Alexander Josephson and Pooya Baktash, Grotto is a curvaceous, solidly built, free-standing structure on a site that is a prehistoric large-scale rock formation.
The sauna spans an incredible 800 square feet (75 square metres) and, as the name suggests, it was inspired by grottos, i.e. natural or artificial caves which were usually embedded behind streams and discovered only by the most avid explorers. It is located in the north-west part of a private island near Toronto, Canada. Building such an elaborate structure on a very rugged terrain was certainly a challenge for Partisans, as it required a lot of research and finding appropriate design solutions. The studio defied the modern day practices in the construction industry and closely collaborated with a millwork and a steel fabrication partner which were involved in virtually every detail of the project.
The result – Grotto Sauna – has double- and triple-glazed porthole windows large enough to provide stunning views of the island’s bay and a roof skylight which allows for plenty of natural light. The sauna has beautiful wooden paneling making its undulating interior simple and sophisticated with traditional sauna seating. “Creating the illusion of a carved interior, we formed the specially selected cedar timber into panels with parallel grains,” said the designers. Cedar wood is often used in building saunas due to its wonderful aroma and resistance to rot. All in all, this is one of those projects that will serve as a reference for any sauna maker and, as such, commands our awe. watch video below
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