Location:  Oslo, Norway
Client: Oslo Badstuforening
Status: Completed October 2020
Typology: Sauna
Area: 38m²
Role: Architects
Team:  Armelle Breuil
Collaboration: Borhaven Arkitekter, Fjord Ingeniører
Environmental approach:
Integration of some bioclimatic elements
Pictures: Becky Zeller & Egil Håskjold

The floating sauna «Anda» was built for Oslo Badstuforening, with the aim to facilitate a low-threshold outdoor life in the middle of the city, with a sauna and bath opportunity all year round. It is the third in a series of saunas run by the association. The design of the sauna comes from the idea that the sauna is a social activity where you gather around a heat source as a ritual, where heating bathing and rest take turns in a circle. 

The various moments of the sauna ritual are therefore arranged into two concentric circles, where the inner one houses the sauna with benches like an amphitheater facing the fjord view and the outer room contains the changing room, resting and bathing possibilities. This solution means that the changing room is heated by the heat loss from the sauna, and provided an optimal weight distribution for better stability. The inner space is built as a regular construction with paneling, and the enclosing space has outer walls with a solid wooden construction of offset timber studs.

This gives the curved walls a rich light and shadow effect inside and out, and allowed the sauna to be divided into elements in connection with the construction.

We wanted to create the most sheltered situation possible for the sauna user, where, despite the very central location, you can experience peace and well-being without insight from passers-by. The sauna therefore has a closed and somehow mysterious design towards the entrance side and the city, but opens up to the view – which is currently Hovedøya. The contrast between closeness and openness is emphasised through the use of dark and light materials, and through variation in light input and views. The changing room receives daylight only through small windows recessed in the post construction, while the sauna has a panoramic full width window. In addition to its primary function as a sauna, Anda has a roof terrace for sunbathing and jumping in the sea, which is accessed via two metal ladders that flank the front door. This, along with a volume that is reminiscent of a bow or a herring barrel, contributes to maritime associations.

“Anda” is a small building but pleases many!