Floating Sauna seeks to set sail in Seattle
By Stu Robarts
September 2, 2014
Back in February, Gizmag featured the design for a proposed floating sauna that would be moored on Lake Washington in Seattle. The aim was to create a place of refuge for locals and a space to relax. Now, with a revised design, the project is almost ready to cast off.
The initial designs for the sauna saw it mounted atop 28 55 gal (250 l) flotation barrels held in position by an aluminum frame, with an 8 x 16 ft (2.4 x 4.9 m) outdoor platform area and an 8 x 8 ft (2.4 x 2.4 m) indoor space for the sauna itself. The revised designs actually show a smaller structure, with a 7 x 7 ft (2.1 x 2.1 m) sauna space sitting on the same 8 x 16 ft (2.4 x 4.9 m) deck. In addition, the exterior cladding has been changed to marine-grade plywood, helping to reduce material costs and allowing the sauna to be more easily flat-packed.
The design of the sauna was revised to reduce construction costs and so that it could be more easily transported. The new, more compact size means that it can be transported by road even when fully constructed. "This decision was partly driven by the desire for the sauna to be able to be installed and driven to any lake but also so that a permanent mooring isn't needed," explains co-founder and architect at goCstudio Aimée O'Carroll. "The sauna can be put on a trailer bed and effectively parked on land if needed."
Over the last six months, says O'Carroll, the construction documentation has been developed, engineers have been consulted, and and a timeline has been put together. Full size-drawings, physical models and 3D models have all been created in the process of refining the design. The project, she says, has been carried along on a wave of interest.
"There has been a huge amount of local support here in Seattle," says O’Carroll. "The project has been published in magazines, newspapers and even made an appearance on the local news. The floating sauna seems to be an idea that really hits home with the people of Seattle and is well suited to the lifestyle here."
goCstudio hopes that the sauna will be the first of many in the area, acting as test-bed for future versions. The firm has had several requests from people interested in commissioning their own floating sauna as well as developers looking to turn the floating sauna into a business in itself.
A Kickstarter fundraising campaign has today been launched for the floating sauna and, assuming it is a success, goCstudio is hoping to begin construction in early 2015 for launch in spring or summer.
The video below is the Kickstarter pitch for the floating sauna.