an international group of students has designed and built a small sauna in vang, a remote region of central norway. the timber structure, which has a footprint of just five square meters, has been constructed on a complex site perched above a mountain stream. reaching a total height of four and a half meters, the building contains a changing area in addition to its tiny sauna.

eldmølla sauna
all images courtesy of NTNU / video courtesy of ben orp

 

 

named ‘eldmølla’, the scheme was designed by students at NTNU (the norwegian university of science and technology), who were led by august schmidt, arnstein gilberg, and ina samdal. the course culminated in a two-week construction period where students, together with teachers and the client, were able to experience the challenges of ‘real-world’ building in a remote location.

eldmølla sauna
the sauna has a total footprint of just five square meters

 

 

the project references the traditional mills found in the region, which channel water inside to turn millstones — consequently grinding grain and producing flour. by positioning the enclosed sauna at the top of the structure, the lower level is able to form a more natural relationship with its surroundings. here, visitors are neither enclosed or exposed, and are offered glimpses of the rushing water beneath them as well as the impressive mountain backdrop.

eldmølla sauna
the building has been constructed above a mountain stream

 

 

the bridge leading to the sauna not only provides access, but also collects water from the stream in a small basin within the changing area. the project is entirely built from timber, with the bridge fabricated by the students on site. ‘the complete expression of the project is a structure that relates to the tall, open spaces between the mountains, and the energetic, rushing water that falls into the valley below,’ explains the design team.

eldmølla sauna
the structure reaches a total height of four and a half meters

eldmølla sauna
the project is entirely built from timber

eldmølla sauna
the design collects water from the stream below in a small basin

eldmølla sauna
a changing area is located on the lower of the two levels

eldmølla sauna
a wooden staircase leads to the sauna above

eldmølla sauna
the structure was built in just two weeks

eldmølla sauna
the sauna’s wood burning stove

eldmølla sauna
narrow apertures provide natural light

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: eldmølla
function: sauna
location: leirholsstølen, vang i valdres, norway
footprint: 5 sqm
owner: knut lerhol
course: typology/topology/tectonics, NTNU
course leaders: august schmidt, arnstein gilberg, ina samdal
course participants: julie allémann, ana baía, quentin desveaux, roger escorihuela, rahel haas, anastasiia ignatova, feliks ulvåen isaksen, agathe ledoux, louis meny, sebastià mercadal, adrienne michels, thuy nguyen, pierre-louis passard, kristinn pálsson, benoît perrier, benedikt profanter, pedro simões, ninni westerholm

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  • Great video. Beautiful site. Fascinating build. Mesmerizing soundtrack. The student builders waving at the end brings the entire project to life. Lovely.

    Mark Seattle says:
  • I second Mark’s remarks. Brightened a gloomy day 🙂

    Rich says:

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