intertwined wooden beams sculpt sauna chamber by anders berensson architects in norway

intertwined wooden beams sculpt sauna chamber by anders berensson architects in norway

fir tree stud stacking system forms organic cave-like sauna

 

Anders Berensson Architects stacks wooden beams in an old barn’s cabin to form a thermal mass sauna in Ulefoss, Norway. The project was commissioned by well-known photographer and sauna connoisseur Mikkel Aaland. Drawing from the Finnish ‘Savusauna’ model, the design shapes in a cave-like formation assembling the wood studs organically, allowing the thermal mass of the timber to absorb heat and release it when bathing. 

 

Reinventing the structure ad the building physics of the modern Nordic sauna, the team designs womb-like organic shape to produce the wood structure without the use of glue like in plywood and glulam. The sauna’s cube stacks two-by-three-inch fir tree studs distanced by four feet and subtracted into a cave-like shape. The straight-cut beams are jigged sawed and sanded into a smooth surface, put together to compose various seating spots in three levels.

intertwined wooden beams sculpt sauna chamber by anders berensson architects in norway
all images by Mikkel Aaland

 

 

standalone wooden structure fits a sauna into a modern house

 

The Stockholm-based architectural studio reference Miikkels’ book on saunas, ‘Sweat’, and ‘Savusauna’ for the structure’s final composition heating the whole room in advance and letting the warmth of the stones and wood in fresh oxygen air when the heat source is put out. Avoiding thick insulation and plastic sheets or other chemical products, the experienced heat is directly emitted from the stove or the charged thermal mass of the space. Looking back at the history of sauna typology and its construction principles, the design incorporates a standalone structure into a modern house. Optimizing the thermal mass of the wooden stacked formation the structure serves as a heat battery. The developed system of stacked studs creates a large exposed wood surface charged with heat in advance and released when bathing in the sauna.

intertwined wooden beams sculpt sauna chamber by anders berensson architects in norway
organic formation assembled by stacked wood studs

intertwined wooden beams sculpt sauna chamber by anders berensson architects in norway
the wooden beams overhang to form an armrest

thermal-mass-sauna-stack-designboom-1800-2

intertwined wooden beams sculpt sauna chamber by anders berensson architects in norway
the wooden formation shapes various seating spots inside the sauna

intertwined wooden beams sculpt sauna chamber by anders berensson architects in norway
entering the sauna from an old barn’s ground level

thermal-mass-sauna-stack-designboom-1800-1

 

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axonometric view of the Thermal Mass Sauna Stack
axonometric view of the Thermal Mass Sauna Stack
drawing detail - system of equal studs under stacking process
drawing detail - system of equal studs under stacking process
axonometric views of the Thermal Mass Sauna Stack
axonometric views of the Thermal Mass Sauna Stack
plan drawing of the Thermal Mass Sauna Stack
plan drawing of the Thermal Mass Sauna Stack
physical model and drawings of the Thermal Mass Sauna Stack
physical model and drawings of the Thermal Mass Sauna Stack

project info:

 

name: Thermal Mass Sauna Stack

designer: Anders Berensson Architects – Anders Berensson, Eva Sachs

location: Ulefoss, Norway

photography: Mikkel Aaland

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

ANDERS BERENSSON ARCHITECTS (11)

ARCHITECTURE IN NORWAY (164)

SAUNAS (73)

WOOD AND TIMBER ARCHITECTURE (607)

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