The Wood Program 2011-2012 project is to design and build a smoke sauna at the site of Alvar Aalto’s famous experimental summer house on Muuratsalo island. The smoke sauna designed and build by Alvar Aalto by on the lake shore has retired from use. Wood program’s new sauna will enable visitors to experience the special qualities of a smoke sauna, something that is essential to both Finnish culture and the Aalto site.
The goal of our sauna project is not only to build a good smoke sauna but also to experience the traditional smoke sauna in a new way. The experimental character of Aalto’s buildings at the site has been an inspiration for the project. The sauna design consists of a core, the sauna heat room, and a skin that wraps around the core and provides cover for the terrace. The shape of the sauna is perceived differently from all directions. The sauna’s footprint on the site is small as the back of the sauna building is elevated from the ground and the sauna has only few foundation points.
Plan, section and cross section, February 2012