Leisure Management - Heat of the moment
|Heat of the moment
From giant golden egg saunas and converted ski gondolas to rustic hand-crafted huts, we showcase the latest in heat experience design and innovations
Spruced up sauna
The single, double or triple saunas from Estonia are covered in spruce wood tiles
Estonia-based company Iglucraft is adding a rustic touch to sauna design with its hand-crafted huts. Craftsmen have remastered the shingle production technique used by farmers decades ago to cover the pods in individual spruce tiles.
They come in single, double and triple sizes, with the largest capable of hosting six people and including a steamroom, washroom and changing room. Iglusaunas are prefabricated and arrive on site ready to install. The company counts David Beckham among its customers after the footballer bought one for his home in the Cotswolds, UK.
Craftsmen have remastered a shingle production method once used by farmers to create the eye-catching design
Giant golden egg
Solar Egg is a piece of social artwork where the community can meet for discussions
The Solar Egg sauna, designed by art and design duo Bigert & Bergström, is made out of stainless steel golden mirror sheeting and has a multifaceted form that breaks up and reflects the surroundings in a striking way.
It’s been conceived as a type of social art in Sweden’s northernmost town of Kiruna, but would make a design-statement for any spa operator. The town is being completely relocated for mining purposes and the unique sauna, which is a symbol for warmth and reflection in Lapland culture, has been created to give locals somewhere to meet and discuss the challenges facing their community.
“Landscape, mine, town, sky, sun and snow are combined into a fragmented image that can evoke associations with the complexity spanned by today’s discussion about climate and sustainable community development,” the artists say.
All that glistens
The cladding is broken up with glittering tiles in reference to local folklore
Another piece of artwork, the Soria Moria sauna in Dalen, Norway, is the first installation in the Tales of the Waterway project which aims to bring more attention to six canal municipalities in the region.
The silhouette of the sauna is an interpretation of the steep mountainsides surrounding Lake Bandak which it juts out into. Wooden shingle cladding, inspired by local building techniques, is broken up with glittering tiles in reference to folklore – to the mythical and magical.
Architect David Fjågesund says: “The main idea is that visitors and people living in the area will experience the canal landscape in a new way.”
Soria Moria is a focal point for local residents, guests at the nearby Dalen Hotel or hikers and cyclists exploring the region. It can hold up to 15 people, rented for private use or used for drop-in sessions for about NOK50 (US$5.6, €5.1, £4.3) per person.
Open air wellness
Italian wellness consultancy Starpool has partnered with design studio Aledolci & Co to develop an outdoor sauna concept.
The NatureSauna, is billed as a tribute to the Nordic culture of ‘open air wellness’ and is designed to ‘unite building, man and nature’. It’s made from Italian spruce wood and has brushed copper inserts. It can be used in any outdoor setting and climate and is available in three sizes starting at 3.6m x 3.2m.
Riccardo Turri, CEO of Starpool, says: “NatureSauna perfectly embodies our values of aesthetics, design, texture, effectiveness and environmental care.”
Starpool’s sauna has been designed to unite ‘building, man and nature’
Off piste design
German designers have made a mobile sauna using the shells of ski lifts
German designers Toni Egger and Felix Tarantik are offering spa operators mobile saunas made from the aluminium shells of ski-lift gondolas.
Egger says: “We both use saunas regularly, but the current style is very traditional. They’ve never been designed in a modern, simplistic, high-quality way and are all lacking the sense of beauty we were looking for.”
Tarantik adds: “We were looking for a frame that could withstand extreme temperature changes. Ski gondolas are built for that: they’re indestructible.”
The four- to eight-person Saunagondels are fitted with silver fir wood inside and a Huum electric heater which can reach up to 100˚C.
Farris Bad’s events sauna features high tech lighting, sound and even a DJ booth
Norwegian spa resort Farris Bad has opened a 100-person events sauna to host entertaining aufguss sauna shows and major sauna competitions.
The sauna, designed in collaboration with DS Light and Sound and B+S Finland Sauna, features state of the art light and sound technology and even a DJ booth.
Farris Bad development manager Lasse Eriksen says: “We can go full-throttle, with a Top Gun-style aufguss show.
“It’s like sitting on a stage in a show – you’re in the centre where the energy is created and with the mix of heat, water, ice, herbs and essential oils, the sauna master guides you on this amazing journey.”
The traditional benefits of heat is boosted with salt inhalation thanks to the new Sea Climate Cabin from Austrian firm Soleum.
A misting system can be used for dry or moist salt inhalation to help with everything from respiratory disorders, sleep health and allergies to skin conditions and boosting the immune system. Using the same technique, the cabin can be turned into a ‘teadarium’, where the air is infused with medicinal teas such as chamomile, mint, thyme and sage.
The cabins, suitable for outdoor or indoor use, come in Omega, Egg or Ellipse shapes and a range of 26 colours including an eye-catching gold. Soleum says the jointless interiors make for easier cleaning too. Changing coloured lights and feel-good music round off the wellness experience, which can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet if desired.
Heat and salt inhalation are combined in Soleum’s new Sea Climate Cabins
Multitude of innovations
Cloud-like wellness from Vital Tech
As sauna bathing grows in popularity, so do innovations in the field. Infrared heat experiences are diversifying with the likes of Vital Tech, which has created a sense of weightlessness with its Nuage cloud-like lounger and Halotherapy Solutions which has teamed up with Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong to launch one of the first salt-therapy infrared saunas. Meanwhile, Iyashi Dome is supplying operators such as Reebok and using far infrared rays, inspired by ancient Japanese hot sand rituals, to develop its detoxing, slimming and anti-ageing experiences which are said to burn up to 600 calories in 30 minutes.
Far infrared rays also form one component of the latest HOCATT ozone steam saunas. These units combine multiple elements – from ozone and oxygen treatments to pulsed electromagnetic field, photon light, carbonic acid and microcurrent technologies – to help prevent ill-health, promote athleticism, aid wellness and make people look good.
In the UK, TyloHelo is using organic wooden-shaped fins in the cabin ceilings at South Lodge Spa (pictured) for a stylish finish, and juniper walls to create natural aesthetics and aromas at a panoramic sauna in the Hale Country Club.
Over in Finland, mobile sauna concepts are making a move with companies such as Ripavi which has created a sauna on stilts for multiple surfaces – ground, water, snow or ice – and Lapelland which has introduced a towable model. Perhaps most striking is the Wellness Dream by Cariitti that consists of a sauna, steambath and bathroom/dressing room in a movable sea container.
Infrared, salt therapy in Hong Kong
HOCATT specialises in ozone saunas
Far infrared detoxing by Iyashi Dome
Ripavi’s sauna on stilts
Organic-shaped fins from TyloHelo
Sea container sauna by Cariitti
Lapelland’s new sauna is towable
|Originally published in Spa Business 2020 issue 1