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Translucent lakeside sauna wins Toronto design competition

by Jane Kitchen | 23 Feb 2016

London-based architecture firm Fox Fernley Landscape Office have designed a three-person, translucent sauna as part of a winning design in the Winter Stations Design competition in Toronto.

The Winter Stations design competition had a theme of Freeze / Thaw this year, and asked designers and artists to respond to the changing conditions and transitions of the Toronto winter.

“Most of the artists took this to be something about the natural landscape freezing and thawing, but we suggested that the most interesting thing to see on the beach is people, so our competition entry was for a human freezing and thawing process: Sauna and plunge pool,” said James Fox, partner at FFLO.

The sauna is a simple timber construction with tiered seating for three, and the polycarbonate outer skin of the sauna gives winter walkers a steamy glimpse of the bathers within. At night, solar-powered lights illuminate the scene.

It is fuelled by a small wood-burning stove – with extra wood stored under a lifeguard’s station – and was constructed for £5,000 (US$7,064, €6,398).

The sauna will be on display and operational as part of Winter Stations through March, after which time it will be disassembled and sold on eBay.

“We would love to design some more saunas, and indeed we would prefer it if they were permanent because we like to see people enjoying the things and the places that we help make,” said Fox.

This is not the first lakeside sauna to garner attention in a design competition. Designers Kyle Bigart, Andrew Sommerville and Alex Paulette created an Urban Therme sauna as part of a kiosk competition for The Chicago Architecture Biennial back in September.

Fox Fernley Landscape Office  Toronto  lakeside sauna 
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London-based architecture firm Fox Fernley Landscape Office have designed a three-person, translucent sauna as part of a winning design in the Winter Stations Design competition in Toronto. The Winter Stations design competition had a theme of Freeze / Thaw this year, and asked designers and artists to respond to the changing conditions and transitions of the Toronto winter. “Most of the artists took this to be something about the natural
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The sauna is a simple timber construction with tiered seating for three
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Based on ancient knowledge – and confirmed by scientific research – warmth is one of the most important sources of healing and preventative therapy available.
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