Sauna, a part of the wellness movement in hospitality

Sauna the Finnish specialty is on a steep rise as a part of the global wellness trend. We at Studio Puisto have long been interested in integrating sauna into hospitality experiences. Even though the traditional Finnish sauna can feel like a worn-out concept, it’s possible to find new point of views and ideas with each project. A good example of this is the meteorite sauna we designed to Lappajärvi, where a tiny pool – avanto – is brought inside the sauna offering an unique, and very Finnish, experience surrounded by modern architecture. The demand for new saunas during these past two years in both Finland and abroad has surprised us.

At first thought, sauna can feel like a tiny, insignificant detail in a large scale plan, but in reality it can make a huge positive impact even to a whole area. Many of our projects start with masterplanning, in which we ideate key attractions for an area. For example in our masterplan for Ähtäri we had around ten concepts, but in particular Saunaravintola Kiulu, a lakeside restaurant accompanied by saunas took on the wind right after the release of the masterplan. The same pattern has repeated itself in our other masterplans as well like Pistohiekka and Lappajärvi. Sauna evocates positive feelings in us, almost without exceptions and its attractiveness doesn’t need to be questioned. Around a working sauna concept it’s easy to develop other hospitality services from accommodation to dining.

At the moment we are in the process of designing a sauna concept in the fells of Lapland but also around the world. A sauna-restaurant will be designed to South Korea and the mountains of Greece will get a sauna too. At the same time we have a couple of sauna projects in Helsinki, a neighbourhood sauna inspired by traditions and a public sauna in the heart of the city harbour. When it comes to sauna design we don’t want to ruin a good experience with excessive details. We believe that a successful sauna experience is created out of simple elements: moody indoors, interesting views and carefully finished details. These elements best come together in our Space of Mind Sauna. Space of Mind produces tiny, under 10 sqm modular spaces, which can be modified according to the clients needs. The concept was born in the midst of the pandemic as a way to develop remote work spaces, but has since evolved all the way into a sauna and a company of its own. This summer the Space of Mind Sauna is showcased in the Fiskars Village Art and Design Biennale in the House By an Architect -exhibition.

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