Semi-autonomous Sauna

Semi-autonomous sauna Architects: Indrek Allmann and Tarmo Miller Location: western Estonia Concept: 2007 Completed: 2011 Surface area: 7m² It sometimes happens that houses are located by the sea. Often these houses include a sauna in this part of the world. The „heart” of the sauna, hot room (also known as vapour bath or steam room), might also stand apart from the dwelling. The current hot room takes this to the extreme: from the inside, a maximum view of the sea, and from the outside, a minimal visual impact. This was the result of a common wish of both the client and the architects to explore and test the limits of this ancient and vital function in this region – not to forget the functionality while playing with form. Many characteristics of the completed structure would not do shame to „real“ houses either. Glass walls allow the transformation of solar energy into heat, which the stone floor and multi-layered glass in turn help maintain. This is enough to keep the interior (on sunny days at least) at ca 30 degrees above the exterior temperature throughout the year. The firewood need, to reach the temperature required for hot sessions, is taken to the minimum. The special construction of the main door as well as that of the stove secure sufficient ventilation. The hot room with load bearing walls out of glass is in many ways experimental. In the designing process, first the obstacles were eliminated that allegedly made it impossible to build, thereafter various technical specialists were incorporated to find solutions that would make it buildable nonetheless, and finally the structure was designed and actually constructed. The initial idea and hope the architects had with regard to the functionality of such a project has indeed proved achievable in reality.


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