When Trolle Rudebeck Haar spent a year in an exchange program in Helsinki, Finland, he was able to experience the country's sauna culture firsthand. It made such an impact on him that the Lausanne University of Art and Design graduate got a bright idea for his final school project: a prefab sauna that floats on water.
In a roughly 24-square-foot design, Löyly, as it’s known, is crafted from local Swiss Douglas fir sourced from a nearby sawmill. Haar, who chose fir because it is both lightweight and durable, made it yet more resilient by applying a teak oil finish, which maintains the wood’s natural look.
The sauna’s entrance, a sliding door, is inspired by Japanese shoji screens. Inside is a small wood stove and a bench that seats as many as three people. In designing the sauna, Haar had to be mindful of its weight both with and without people inside. "I was calculating the mass of every unit," says Haar, who goes on to explain that getting the barrels to sit at the right place in the water was a balancing act.
Installation required only six hours and took place both on land and in the lake. Haar designed it to be easily taken apart and reassembled, which he says makes it scalable in different applications. "I imagine it can be used for pop-up events, festivals, and urban planning projects," says Haar. "But, I hope that the actual scale of the structure stays small, so the sauna session is still a cozy and intimate experience."
Designer: Trolle Rudebeck Haar, Rudebeck Studio
Stay up to Date on the Latest in Prefab Homes
From cozy cottages to large family houses, see how prefab continues to redefine the future of construction, building, and design.