Saunas are traditionally places to relax and few things can be as relaxing as floating peacefully on the surface of a lake. Architecture firm goCstudio is planning to launch a floating sauna on Lake Washington, Seattle, later this year. According to goCstudio, the sauna will be accessed by kayak and will provide, "an enticing refuge from the city, a moment to escape, relax and reinvigorate."
Aimée O’Carroll, co-founder and architect at goCstudio, told Gizmag that floating structures became of interest to her and her business partner Jon Gentry after they designed the Spirit Pavilion for a competition focusing on the re-use of Seattle's SR-520 floating bridge.
"We thought it would be interesting to propose a floating sauna for Seattle, a city surrounded by water," she explains. "The purpose of the sauna is to create a place of refuge for locals, to give them a new perspective on their city and provide a space to relax and reinvigorate out on the water."
Mounted atop twenty-eight 55 gallon flotation barrels that are held in position by an aluminum frame, an 8 x 16 ft (2.4 x 4.9 m) timber deck provides an outdoor platform area, as well as the 8 x 8 ft (2.4 x 2.4 m) indoor space for the sauna itself. The sauna is enclosed by a structure of Alaskan Yellow Cedar and features tiered seating, a cool-down hatch and a wood-burning stove. An external ladder provides access to a fenced roof-deck with a diving board.
According to O’Carroll, the sauna will most likely be classified as a boat by the US Coast guard and will be able to "drop anchor" for periods of time. When anchored, the plan is to orientate it to the south so as to catch the sun. Slot windows, meanwhile, will provide views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
In order to undertake the project, goCstudio needs to raise US$15,000 via a Kickstarter campaign, which is due to launch within a few weeks. If successful, the campaign will fund the materials for the sauna, stove and the prefab dock kit. O’Carroll and Gentry will carry out the construction themselves with the help of friends and contributors. They hope to partner with a business to run and maintain the sauna while it remains open.