studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne
 

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne

next to the yarra river in melbourne, australia, the sydney-based art and architecture collective studio rain has built a sauna installation that aims to improve health and promote the wellbeing of city dwellers through the revival of bathing culture. as a temporary re-activation of what was an iconic melburnian swimming destination from the 1920s-1960s, the project – titled ‘atmosphere: a revival’ – inspires ways in which the yarra river can be better experienced.

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

designed to be completely off-grid, the sauna is a lightweight, prefabricated structure that has a sensitive footprint on the site and the environment

all images courtesy of studio rain

 

 

the sauna takes its inspiration from scandinavian and japanese bathing rituals, where public bathhouses offer members of the community a space to focus on the body at a collective level. as populations rise and public spaces continue to shrink, levels of anxiety and loneliness are increasing. the work by studio rain aims to address these urban symptoms through engaging visitors in an intimate public ritual. through a heightening of sensory awareness, visitors are invited to explore deeper connections to self, to others, and to nature.

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

the design philosophy is centred on a blurring of the boundaries between personal and public space

 

 

the design philosophy is centred on a blurring of the boundaries between personal and public space. the structure is designed to encourage visitors to explore the threshold between intimate social contact and inner stillness. traditional materials are combined with more experimental ones so as to play with levels of transparency and obscurity. such materials allow the natural environment to have a presence in the space, while maintaining an intimate and sacred atmosphere.

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

the structure is made from reclaimed timber, with offcuts from the construction process being reused to supply the heat

 

 

designed to be completely off-grid, the sauna is a lightweight, prefabricated structure that has a sensitive footprint on the site and the environment. the structure is made from reclaimed timber, with offcuts from the construction process being reused to supply the heat. the flat packed design ensures that the sauna panels are able to be dismantled to allow for future reuse.

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

traditional materials are combined with more experimental ones so as to play with levels of transparency and obscurity

 

 

as the yarra river is currently not in a swimmable state, the artists built a ‘bucket shower’ on a refurbished diving board on the river bank where guests were able to cool off by dousing themselves theatrically with cold water. the design of the structure’s slanted, extended roof allowed fresh rain water to be captured into a barrel underneath, which was then pumped into the bucket shower.

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

the interior seating is made from western red cedar, a timber which provides resistance to fungus and insect attack, while its low density offers very good thermal insulation

 

 

the project was created for melbourne design week 2020 and supported by the national gallery of victoria. studio rain intend to exhibit the sauna as a travelling installation that will activate various swimming spots across australia.

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

an intimate public sauna that offers members of the community a space to focus on the body at a collective level

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

the entrance to the sauna was designed as a low swivel door to minimize the escape of heat from the structure

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

a ‘bucket shower’ was built on a refurbished diving board on the river bank where guests were able to cool off by dousing themselves theatrically with cold water

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

the design of the structure’s slanted, extended roof allowed fresh rain water to be captured into a barrel positioned underneath, which was then pumped into the bucket shower system

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

through a heightening of sensory awareness, visitors are invited to explore deeper connections to self, to others, and to nature

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

the structure is designed to encourage visitors to explore the threshold between intimate social contact and inner stillness

studio rain revives bathing culture with an off-grid sauna installation in melbourne designboom

the project was a temporary re-activation of what was an iconic swimming destination from the 1920s-1960s in melbourne

 

 

project info:

 

project name: ‘atmosphere: a revival’

location: the yarra river, melbourne

design: studio rain for melbourne design week 2020

supported by: the national gallery of victoria

build partner: fresh prince
sauna heating infrastructure sponsored by: sauna & steam australia

 

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: lynne myers | designboom

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