Sauna and architecture lovers are in for a treat at the unique Art Sauna of the Serlachius Museums, opened in Mänttä-Vilppula, Finland, in the summer of 2022.
THE CONCRETE STRUCTURED Art Sauna is almost hidden on the lakeside at Serlachius Museum Gösta. The sauna building, opened in the summer of 2022 in Mänttä, Finland, was designed by a Spanish architect trio Héctor Mendoza, Mara Partida and Boris Bežan. Implementation design in the project was by Finnish architect partner Pekka Pakkanen.
Most visitors to the Serlachius Museums have come from far away. This is why, says development director Päivi Viherkoski, they must be taken very good care of.
“In addition to art experiences and good food, we can now also offer a place for relaxation and experiences for the senses and in nature,” she says.
The sauna culture is changing in the direction of memorable experiences and socialising.
The Art Sauna is related to a new sauna culture where the tradition of relaxation and cleansing has been replaced by a pursuit for memorable experiences and socialising. Great experiences are created by opposites: in addition to hot and cold, the building alternates between soft and hard materials. The oak arches of the lounge ceiling soften the granite surfaces. According to Viherkoski, the building is not an extension of the art museum, but it does share the same interaction between nature and art.
Satu Rautiainen’s artwork, Birds’ Drinking Place, adorns the lobby. The theme is repeated in the sauna textiles. Outside the sauna, you can take a shower next to Tuula Lehtinen’s mosaic work.
The sauna, with its green roof, is well camouflaged at the Melasjärvi lakeside at Art Museum Gösta. The interior consists of Finnish and international design: the sauna scoop and bucket was designed by Antrei Hartikainen, while items in the lounge area were designed by Klaus Haapaniemi and Jasper Morrison, among others.
The Art Sauna was shortlisted for the Finlandia Prize for Architecture in 2022. The pre-selection jury commented the Art Sauna in a statement: “The Art Sauna is unmistakeably a manifestation of Finland’s new sauna culture, where the tradition for calm and cleansing has been replaced by a pursuit for memorable experiences and socialising. In a country of three million saunas and 200 million annual sauna visits, the Art Sauna is a breath of something new, fresh and different. The execution and finishing here represent a level of quality that is truly exceptional.”
The Art Sauna can be booked for a private function, or you can enjoy it on a public sauna day, once a month in the fall of 2022. Art Sauna and Art Museum Gösta, Joenniementie 47, 35800 Mänttä, Finland
Text: Arja Kuittinen Images: Marc Goodwin / Archmospheres