One Man Sauna combats urban decay


June 13, 2014

The One Man Sauna is based on the grounds of an abandoned factory in Bochum, Germany (Photo: Modulorbeat)

The One Man Sauna is based on the grounds of an abandoned factory in Bochum, Germany (Photo: Modulorbeat)

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Those looking for a private place to relax could do worse than the One Man Sauna, by German architectural firm Modulorbeat. Based within the grounds of an abandoned factory in Bochum, Germany, the sauna was created as part of an ongoing project to help re-invigorate the local area following a factory closure and resulting job losses.

The One Man Sauna reaches a total height of 7.5 m (24.6 ft), and is constructed from stacked precast concrete frames, which are usually used for building shaft mines. The suitably industrial-looking structure comprises three levels: a plunge pool at the bottom, a working sauna in the middle, and a relaxation space on the top floor which features a hatch that can be opened to let in the outside air. Each level is navigated by ladder, and access is also granted by another outer ladder and hatch.

The sauna was created as part of the Bochum-based Das Detroit Projekt. Following the closure of the local Opel automobile plant and the loss of many jobs, the Das Detroit Projeckt was conceived as a means of encouraging local residents to become participants in re-invigorating the city, and hopefully avoid a fate similar to that which Detroit experienced following its own factory closures and subsequent decline.

The Das Detroit Projekt is holding a festival in Bochum from April 26 to July 5, and includes contributions from artists, architects, musicians, and academics. The festival features debates on the future of Bochum, and representatives from other major European Opel factory cities will be in attendance.

Source: Modulorbeat via Arch Daily

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Brilliant recipe for solving the 'homeless' problem ... Person (drunk?) climbs up the side and in the hatch for shelter, slips on the ladder, drowns in the plunge pool! Workers clean them out each morning, refresh (we hope) the water and reset the trap! Just like catching mice, really.

The Skud

I think it looks interesting. I would make it a little bigger and use a spiral staircase. Perhaps it could be a basis for a small house?

'The Skud', it would be a 'venus' drunk trap? Perhaps a basis for a horror movie? :O


I read Gizmag articles on mini-homes and such things with great interest. Many of them contain interesting use of spaces. This "one-man sauna" project, however, seems weird and rather useless. I'm surprised so much effort was expended on a "dead in the water" concept.

HJ Toby
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