Seaside Sauna in Norway

A team of students from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design have built a seaside sauna. The project is located on a quay in Kleivan, Vestvågøy, a former fishing village in Lofoten, Norway. It is part of a building complex that also contains three cottage buildings – a fishermen’s cottage, a cod liver oil production and a cod salting building.

The three abandoned structures were constructed in the early 1900s and are considered of historical value. Both the quay and the three buildings are listed in the “Cultural Heritage Plan of Lofoten”. The project was developed by Scarcity and Creativity Studio (SCS), a design and build studio within the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. The studio’s aim is to renovate the old buildings and add new facilities to convert the whole complex into an Art and Culture Production Centre.

The Centre is projected to become a focal point for cultural activities throughout the region and, this is the hope of its initiators, will become an inspiration for similar initiatives. The new sauna is called “The Bands”. The students used larch wood to build a framework and designed a folding system of wooden bands to create a picnic terrace, a sunken hot tub and direct access to the water.
The middle band splits into three, forming two benches and a dining table. On the inside of the sauna is a wood-burning stove and a built-in wooden seating area which has a size of 15 square metres. The building has three different roof profiles, created by the rising of the three bands. The first one is symmetrical, while the other two lean in opposite directions. This creates a series of clerestory windows that allow the light to come inside and generate different spaces within the sauna. The shape is also a reference to the three nearby historical buildings.

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The project was installed within 24 days, from May until June.

Photos: Jonas Aarre Sommarset