A few weeks ago, Wood Central covered the Nautilus Water Suites – the floating timber homes which could soon be adapted to provide affordable housing for communities impacted by rising sea levels and the climate crisis.
In a change of pace, we bring you the ‘Big Branzino’ – a floating timber sauna entertaining guests around the Stockholm archipelago.
The floating structure can travel at a leisurely pace of 8 km an hour, and with bespoke fireplace and an open rooftop terrace, it is the perfect option to unwind and relax.
Set atop a steel catamaran hull, the timber structure has a distinctive bow-shaped roof that sweeps downwards to cover a central, glazed sauna room.
John Standlund from Sandellsandberg explains:
“The client, a creative person from the Stockholm tech scene, had a dream about creating a truly extraordinary floating sauna experience, something elegant and refined, yet unexpected.”
The structure is clad in pine planks and opens onto two areas of decking through fully glazed ends at the bow and stern, blending into the surrounds of the forests that that dot the surrounding archipelago – which was designated a Ramsar site in 1989.
“The lowest point of the arch creates warmth and closeness to the glow of the fire, and as the arch rises to the sides it allows the stars of the night sky to be admired from the inside,” says Standlund.
As a Ramsar site, the archipelago has been recognised as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention as established by UNESCO.
In December 2022, the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) advising Ramsar increased the risk of wetland loss caused by climate change induced sea level changes.
Timber, which has long been recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the preferred building material to reduce emissions and tackle climate change, was used extensively throughout the sauna.
Strandlund says the exterior is a rugged pine to blend in with the surrounding nature, (while) the interiors and furniture are made of western red cedar due to its great characteristics for sauna and outdoor use.
The company is amongst Europe’s largest producers of protected timber and controls the entire processing process from planting to sawmill and the finished product.
With a strong focus on recycle, reuse, and reduce, the company has a strong focus on by-products, maximising recovery and converting by-products into sustainable products.
The project was built by the hands of 80-year-old master carpenter Leif Persson at Kungsör Shipyard, a process that is a celebration of his craftsmanship. The sauna hoisted into place through hidden hooks inside the walls.
His lifelong carpentry experience became essential in designing all interior and exterior furnishings and wood finishes.
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