Floating peacefully in the midst of Seattle's Lake Union is a charming 240 square-foot sauna called the wa_sauna. Designed by locally based practice goCstudio, the wa_sauna was inspired by the Scandinavian tradition of saunas as gathering places, and it embodies the ideas of community, retreat, and journey. Plus, visitors can take in unique views of the Seattle skyline.
goCstudio co-founders Jon Gentry and Aimée O’Carroll first conjured up the wa_sauna concept during a chilly winter's day in January 2014. Following a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign and through the help of a handful of dedicated makers and volunteers, wa_sauna became a built reality last year — and the project continues to make waves. Most recently, the wa_sauna scored top honors in the 2016 AIA Small Project Awards.
“Spurred on by this interest and our friends asking how and when they could experience this structure, we realized wa_sauna was something our community craves,“ goCstudio writes on their Kickstarter campaign.
Get a peek of this nifty project with photos and details that goCstudio shared with us below.
“Following in the Scandinavian tradition of saunas as a place for gathering, wa_sauna provides a place for the community to share a unique experience on the water,” goCstudio describes. “Constructed on an aluminum frame topped with a marine-grade plywood platform and resting upon a network of 55-gallon drums attached underneath, the sauna is fabricated with a stained, plywood shell and a spruce interior.”
“The sauna accommodates up to six people and is heated by a simple wood-burning stove. A low-speed electric trolling motor, which runs on three 12-volt batteries, enables the sauna to navigate Seattle’s lakes, which in turn provides the requisite cold plunge post sauna. Deck cleats allow boaters and kayakers to venture out and tie off to the surrounding deck.”
In commenting on the project, AIA jury members remarked: “The wa_sauna project captured the spirit of ‘small projects, big impact’ theme. Suspended within the expanse of the lake, this modest project offers a set of intimate and specific experiences of being on the water. I love the open possibilities...to meditate, to play, to swim, to visit. I also appreciate the gritty kit-of-parts assembly; again, creating unexpected relationships from common means.”
All photos courtesy of goCstudio.
More project photos in the thumbnail gallery right below.
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