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Sauna bathing is an old, traditional practice in the Finnish culture. It is definitely something that is part of our national identity and, as a Finn, I can strongly relate to this. To give you an idea of how important saunas are to us, here’s an interesting fact: We are 5,5 million Finns, but there are 3,3 million saunas around the country!
Since most apartment buildings and new apartments nowadays have a sauna of their own, the amount of public saunas has decreased dramatically in the last decades. However, as a sense of community is becoming increasingly important, many new public saunas are seeing the day or being planned for the near future.
One of the newest and most known is surely Löyly (a Finnish word describing the warmth and steam that comes when you throw water on hot stones in a sauna). It is located in Hernesaari, a former industrial area on the Helsinki seashore. The building, designed by Avanto Architects, is simple and functional, but still rather sculptural. The structure is made of heat treated pine that offers a creative facade cladding as well as some privacy for the guests on the inside, without blocking the views and the natural light. It also protects the building from the harsh coastal weather.
A restaurant can also be found on the premises. The interior is designed by Joanna Laajisto Creative Studio. It is simple, minimalistic, casual and stylish, and in harmony with the building’s architecture.
Just the perfect place to relax in after enjoying a good löyly in the sauna!