Estonia. A floating sauna built by students in the wilderness

The Estonian Academy of Arts promoted a student workshop to design a floating wooden sauna in the Soomaa National Park.

Vala, Parco Nazionale di Soomaa, Estonia, 2017

During the international summer school 2017, promoted by the Estonian Academy of Arts, students built a sauna in the Sooma National Park, Estonia, as a response to the changing and challenging environment of the area. The sauna is called Vala (“pour” in English) and derives its name from the built-in shower facility that gathers rainwater falling on the roof.

Building a sauna embraces both architecture, interior architecture, construction physics, various climatic and cultural aspects, thus providing a great opportunity to introduce to the international participants of the summer school an important typology in Nordic culture: one that has been present in the lives of Estonians throughout history, from birth to death. The sauna ritual is intertwined with water – in this case, taking people directly onto the Soomaa streams which at least once a year floods the roads, meadows and yards of Soomaa, creating an unusual, a new world.

Img.54 Vala, Soomaa Nationa Park, Estonia, 2017
Vala, Soomaa Nationa Park, Estonia, 2017
Soomaa National Park, Estonia
Sami Rintala, Hannes Praks, b210
Estonian Academy of Arts

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