Partisan. A new architectural approach to the traditional spa

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On the shore of Lake Huron in the region of North Ontario lays one of the most spectacular saunas that seems like an aquatic animal enjoying the view and the sun.

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The Partisan trio of architects, Pooya Baktash, Alexander Josephson and Jonathan Friedman, have been praised for their work on this amazing structure that serves as a spa, but also as a gathering spot for friends and family. Featuring a generous surface of 75 square meters, the sauna resembles more a grotto than a usual spa cabin on a lake. Though the exterior doesn’t say much about the creativity and innovative techniques used for this project, the interior, with its amorphous form, is astonishing.

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The sauna named Grotto is build with local rot-resistant cedar panels that are isolated and have gaps between them, so the wood can expand and contract without damaging the structure and allowing the cabin to “breathe”.

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“Then you move inside, which is visceral, warm, and sculptural. We wanted to design a building that would transport the visitor into another world… like a grotto. The clients told us that each time they enter it, it’s almost as if they’re rediscovering the space for the first time,” says Josephson.

Photo credits: Partisan

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