A lakeside sauna boasts mystical views and a gleaming facade

October 29, 2018 by  
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Norwegian design practice Feste Landscape / Architecture recently completed the Soria Moria sauna , a sculptural, shingle-clad structure on Bandak Lake in Dalen, Norway that overlooks breathtaking mountain and water views. Developed as part of the ‘Tales of the Waterway’ art initiative for the Telemark Canal, Soria Moria is one in a series of projects that use art, architecture and lighting design to celebrate the natural beauty of the local landscape and traditions. In addition to the use of locally sourced building materials, the sauna features a wooden facade that’s integrated with gleaming golden shingles to reference local folklore. Covering an area of roughly 420 square feet, Soria Moria consists of a covered seating area, a sauna, a changing room and pine decking. Feste Landscape / Architecture found that — unlike much of the area around the lake — the Sigurdsevja inlet offered deep enough water for bathing at the shoreline. As a result, Soria Moria was elevated on stilts along the inlet and is connected to the lakeshore to the west by a long, zigzagging boardwalk that also links to an existing network of footpaths around the lake. The building takes on a striking, angular silhouette, which was inspired by the steep mountains that surround Bandak Lake. The dramatic mountains and lake are framed with massive panels of glass that blur the boundary between indoors and out. In keeping with the traditional vernacular, the structure is clad in Øyfjell Sag wood shingles that reference local building techniques. Gold-colored Nordic Royal metal shingles are also embedded into the facade to evoke the “mythical and outlandish.” Related: Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact “It also references the obvious contrast which arose between the uncultivated people of Telemark and lavish upper-class foreign travelers during the establishment of the nearby Dalen Hotel at the end of the 19th century,” the architects added. Completed this year, Soria Moria was developed by the Telemark Canal Regional Park in collaboration with Tokke municipality. + Feste Landscape / Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Dag Jenssen via Feste Landscape / Architecture

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A lakeside sauna boasts mystical views and a gleaming facade

Eco-friendly Scarborough Home is designed to follow the sun

October 9, 2018 by  
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Set into a steep hillside in Christchurch , the Scarborough Home makes the most of its challenging location by embracing site-specific design. The modern family home is the work of New Zealand architectural practice Borrmeister Architects , which capitalized on the property’s stellar ocean views with a pavilion-like design. Modestly sized at 250 square meters, the breezy, passive solar dwelling also boasts environmentally friendly features including solar panels, rainwater retention tanks and a sculptural roof designed to follow the arcing path of the sun. Building on an extremely steep hillside required the architects to implement a strict 1.2-meter grid that informed the massing of the three-story Scarborough Home. On the basement level, stone walls anchor the home to the ground and appear like a natural extension of the rock face. In comparison, the upper two levels take on a more pavilion-like feel with massive walls of high-performance glass sheathed behind cedar sliding screens to mitigate unwanted solar gain. A lightweight, sail-inspired roof tops the building and is supported by two tree-like timber and steel structures. The open-plan living areas — including the kitchen, dining area and lounge — as well as a study and bathroom are placed on the top-most level. Three bedrooms, bathrooms, a sauna and the laundry room are located on the floor below. Outdoor living is emphasized with large connecting decks, a swimming pool, an outdoor shower and a vegetable garden. Related: Post-earthquake passive solar home is built around resilience “The brief was for a relaxed, playful home open to the sun, capturing the views to the beach and to the uphill park, whilst also providing shelter from the prevailing winds and incorporating easy driveway access and parking,” the firm explained. To meet the client’s wishes for an environmentally conscious home, the architects used locally sourced, low-maintenance, natural materials for construction. In addition to solar roof tiles and a  rainwater harvesting system, the Scarborough Home includes automatic overhead louvers and an ultra-low emission log burner. + Borrmeister Architects Images by Sarah Rowlands

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Eco-friendly Scarborough Home is designed to follow the sun

This modern vacation home embraces indoor-outdoor living in Ontario

May 25, 2018 by  
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The boundary between indoors and out are blurred to beautiful effect in the Bear Stand Residence, a family retreat located approximately three hours northeast of Toronto, Ontario. Designed by Bohlin Grauman Miller in association with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson , the 3,300-square-foot holiday home is wrapped in glazing and natural materials in order to feel like an airy extension of the surrounding forest. Sitting along the shores of Contau Lake, the Bear Stand serves as an escape from city life for residents Sharon Leece and Joe Migrath. The couple lives and work in Shanghai but sought a forested retreat that they could share with their young daughter as well as family and friends. When in Shanghai, the family also offers the house as a vacation rental. “We wanted to build a West Coast-style property, as we love the open, airy, inside-outside connectivity of the modernist design approach there,” Leece said. “We felt the land was the perfect place to envision an authentic cabin aesthetic, visually connected with the environment.” Before Bohlin Cywinski Jackson principal Robert Miller started the design process, he joined the clients in a multi-day camping trip on the property to get a feel of the land. The time he spent with the couple was critical to shaping the vision for the house, which is designed to embrace the surrounding lake and forest at every turn. Related: The net-zero Frick Environmental Center is officially one of the world’s greenest buildings In addition to the master suite, the Bear Stand can accommodate a minimum of 12 guests in three guest suites, a bunk room with four beds and a den. The two-story home is oriented on an east-west axis to parallel the lake and an adjacent granite rock-face that rises up to the south. A double-height living room and dining area forms the heart of the home, while nearly all of the bedrooms — save for one guest bedroom — are located upstairs. The material palette echoes the wooded environment, from the black fiber-cement panels and stained cedar siding to the indoor fir windows and walnut flooring. Large windows open the home up to the outdoors. The house also includes a private sauna, ofuro soaking tub, hot tub and a screened porch. The American Institute of Architects  recently recognized the home’s excellence with a 2018 Housing Award. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Images by Nic Lehoux

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This modern vacation home embraces indoor-outdoor living in Ontario

Zero-energy tiny home has a near-invisible footprint

March 12, 2018 by  
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COULSON architects designed Disappear Retreat, a tiny, mirrored house that not only appears to disappear into the landscape but also boasts a near-invisible footprint. Created for “triple-zero living,” this prefabricated structure is an off-grid dwelling that’s zero energy, zero waste, and zero water. Built to the Passive House Standard, the 83-square-foot home needs no active heating or cooling systems even in extreme weather climates. Disappear Retreat’s minimal boxy form and design open the home up for a myriad of uses from stargazing in the boreal forests to suburban backyard sauna. Mirrored glass walls allow for privacy and full-height views and are triple-pane insulated with R-values of 32 to minimize energy consumption. The walls will also have a UV reflective coating to protect against bird and animal collisions. COULSON Architects have developed three retreat models with different interior layouts, including: Bed+Bath with a built-in sofa/bed and bathroom; Basic with an open-plan layout for multipurpose use; and Sauna that’s equipped with a sauna heater and built-in benches. Each module can fit on a standard trailer. Related: Incredible glass home stays comfortably snug even in extreme temperatures The airtight and super-insulated homes are powered by solar energy and feature an integrated plumbing system with gray, black, and potable water tanks. The units are also equipped with rainwater collection and composting systems. The Disappear Retreats are open for preorder enquiries now. + COULSON architects Via New Atlas Images via COULSON architects

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Zero-energy tiny home has a near-invisible footprint

Angular timber huts tap into Estonias ancient identity

March 6, 2018 by  
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This cluster of angular timber huts is more than just easy on the eyes—its light-filled design also pays homage to Estonia’s ancient past. KUU architects designed Cottage in Muraste as a modern take on the archetypal koda, timber structures that were built in Estonia as early as the 3rd millennium BCE. The project comprises three units set on a raised timber deck with cutouts for tree trunks to grow through. Located Muraste village in northern Estonia, the 77-square-meter Cottage in Muraste features three timber-framed cabins . Estonia’s early wigwam-like timber construction partly inspired the angular building forms, optimized for natural light. Natural larch clads the walls and roofs of two of the buildings, while the sauna is painted with tar oil for striking contrast. Related: This rustic Norwegian cabin looks like four different buildings all joined together The home’s three ‘koda’ units include separate spaces for a sauna , a living room with a kitchen, and a bedroom with bathroom. The primary living areas are located side by side and are directly connected. Large windows let in light and frame views of the Baltic Sea . “Between the main house and the sauna there is a large terrace connecting every function of the summerhouse and creating outdoor ‘nests’ for each function,” wrote the architects. + KUU architects Via ArchDaily Images © Tõnu Tunnel

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Sunlighten saunas use infrared therapy to lower blood pressure and improve health

February 19, 2018 by  
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Sunlighten  saunas use far-infrared radiation to lower blood pressure, aid in weight loss, and support detoxification. The founders of the company, one of whom overcame a decade of illness using infrared therapy, created Sunlighten as a way of bringing this health-improving technology to people who want to achieve their wellness goals, develop healthy lifestyles , and maintain vitality for the long-term. Sunlighten mPulse infrared saunas are built using sustainably harvested wood , feature no toxic glues, and add only cents per month to the user’s electricity bill. Energy efficient and safe, the saunas are equipped with Sunlighten Solocarbon far infrared heating panels as the most effective far infrared sauna heaters on the market today. Related: The Grandview Barrel Sauna is a backyard oasis for the entire family Scientific research shows that far infrared is most therapeutic in high concentrations. Solocarbon panels are proven to be 95 percent emissive, meaning that 95 percent of the energy being produced is in the therapeutic range to increase core body temperature for a deep, detoxifying sweat. The company’s patented magnetic locking system eliminates unsightly clips, buckles, and screws, with hidden magnets in the sauna walls making set-up and take-down quick and easy. + Sunlighten

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Organic spa was renovated with all-natural materials to capture the essence of the nearby Alps

January 23, 2018 by  
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Those seeking a bit of serenity from the chaos of everyday life should head straight to the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in northern Slovenia. Local Enota Architects have recently renovated a beautiful wellness center for the boutique Hotel Plesnik . Located in a verdant valley, surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery, the spa was built with organic materials and includes a natural swimming pool , which is filtered by aquatic plants. Located in arguably one of the most beautiful valleys in Europe, the Logarska Valley is an idyllic center for anyone looking to seek refuge from the daily hustle and bustle of life. According to the architects, the views of the alps in the distance was a strong inspiration for the renovation of the wellness center, propelling the team to exclusively use natural building materials in the renovation. Related: Red Mountain Retreat captures the essence of the rugged Icelandic landscape The center is divided into three sections: the sauna, the wellness space, and the entrance portal. On the interior, undulating pebble-lined walls lead guests to the sauna cabins. From the sauna area, guests can relax in the indoor/outdoor lounge area centered around a large fireplace. However, the heart of the spa can be found in the exterior spaces. To revamp the old space, which included an existing pool, the architects extended the amount of outdoor space. The former whirlpool was converted into a sunken circular resting area, surrounded by water and featuring a fire ring. The new sun deck was then installed with a new natural swimming pool , which is naturally filtered by aquatic plants, and offers jaw-dropping views of the mountain range in the background. + ENOTA Architects Images via ENOTA Architects

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Organic spa was renovated with all-natural materials to capture the essence of the nearby Alps

This floating hotel and spa in Sweden will fill you with wanderlust

January 23, 2018 by  
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The team behind the famous Treehotel in Sweden just unveiled plans for a new floating hotel and spa on the Lule River in that will fill you with wanderlust. The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa might be the perfect place to enjoy the Northern Lights and work on your well-being while being surrounded by stunning landscapes. As a company that specializes in luxury adventure holidays, Off the Map Travel aims to provide people with exotic travel options and allow them to reach authentic destinations. The newest addition to their handpicked offering is this floating hotel and spa that freezes into the ice in the winter and floats on top of the Lule River in the summer. Related: Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa is a circular building that will house a spa treatment room, four saunas , an outside cold bath, a hot bath, outside and inside showers, and two dressing rooms for visitors. The six hotel rooms included also float or remain frozen into the ice, depending on the time of year. The project is being built using locally available materials and will be open for overnight stays as soon as early 2018. + Off the Map Travel Via AFAR

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Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact

October 27, 2017 by  
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When Milan-based Small Architecture Workshop was asked to design a tiny sauna for a bed and breakfast in Åmot, Sweden, they wanted to do so with minimal environmental impact. The result of their efforts is this dreamy floating sauna on a lake wrapped in blackened timber to blend in with its forested surroundings. The architects built the compact structure in the span of two weeks as the first in a series of new amenities for the nearby bed and breakfast set in the middle of the forest. Located a three-hour drive from Stockholm , the bed and breakfast and accompanying sauna are an idyllic nature retreat for city dwellers. To minimize site impact , Small Architecture Workshop built the sauna on an existing wooden pier that they fixed up, thus avoiding digging and damaging the shoreline. The traditional Japanese technique of Yakisugi—more popularly known as Shou Sugi Ban—was applied to the sauna’s exterior cladding to make the timber resistant to weather, rot, and bugs. Related: Gigantic golden egg sauna warms up residents of Sweden’s northernmost town In contrast to the dark facade, the sauna is lined with light-colored alder wood. Visitors access the sauna through a covered space that serves as a dressing room and firewood storage room. Full-height glazing fronts the sauna, which can comfortably accommodate eight, to frame unobstructed views of the lake. + Small Architecture Workshop Via Dezeen Images via Small Architecture Workshop

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Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact

Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact

October 27, 2017 by  
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Comments Off on Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact

When Milan-based Small Architecture Workshop was asked to design a tiny sauna for a bed and breakfast in Åmot, Sweden, they wanted to do so with minimal environmental impact. The result of their efforts is this dreamy floating sauna on a lake wrapped in blackened timber to blend in with its forested surroundings. The architects built the compact structure in the span of two weeks as the first in a series of new amenities for the nearby bed and breakfast set in the middle of the forest. Located a three-hour drive from Stockholm , the bed and breakfast and accompanying sauna are an idyllic nature retreat for city dwellers. To minimize site impact , Small Architecture Workshop built the sauna on an existing wooden pier that they fixed up, thus avoiding digging and damaging the shoreline. The traditional Japanese technique of Yakisugi—more popularly known as Shou Sugi Ban—was applied to the sauna’s exterior cladding to make the timber resistant to weather, rot, and bugs. Related: Gigantic golden egg sauna warms up residents of Sweden’s northernmost town In contrast to the dark facade, the sauna is lined with light-colored alder wood. Visitors access the sauna through a covered space that serves as a dressing room and firewood storage room. Full-height glazing fronts the sauna, which can comfortably accommodate eight, to frame unobstructed views of the lake. + Small Architecture Workshop Via Dezeen Images via Small Architecture Workshop

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Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact

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