We gotta be honest here, we’re a little conflicted about this one. It will be capable of being transported from lake to lake by trailer or stored on dry land, so that sort of makes it portable, right? Or at least portable-ish? After all there are “portable” homes and other larger structures, so we’re gonna say this one flies. So, uh, hell yeah, a floating sauna!
From the base up, the “wa_sauna” starts with an aluminum frame and 2×4 wood decking atop a flotation pad comprised of a collection of 55 gallon drums. The walls of the sauna enclosure itself, set to one side of the 120 sq ft wooden platform, are constructed of marine-grade plywood, better suited to wet-environment applications. The end wall of the sauna room will contain a panel that swings out, allowing for ventilation or escape into the lake you’re floating on in case you just get too damn hot.
2×6 lumber makes up the sauna’s roof deck, robust enough to stand or hang out on or do a gnarly aerial off of, or maybe even land one of these personal helicopters on. However, it might be more practical to Jetlev on over or, we suppose, just kayak to it as the designers originally envisioned (bo-o-oring!). Rounding out the sauna tower are plexiglass windows, a metal ladder rising from lake to roof, and a wood-fueled fire stove and flute.
Conceived by the Seattle architecture and design studio goCstudio as a “place of refuge for locals”, the project has now been successfully funded on Kickstarter. With the $43,725, the firm will build and launch its first floating sauna by next year, summer time. Yep, a summer time launch in Seattle, probably a good idea as opposed to the dead of winter. The intention is to iron out all remaining kinks and better understand the user experience with this first build, then construct several more refined floating saunas for launch at other locations in the area.
The designers hope the structure will rejuvenate its users while simultaneously providing them with a new perspective on the surrounding city and its various bodies of water and other beautiful scenery. Of course, out of all those gorgeous spots, they face the challenge of finding the best ones for launching each “wa_sauna”, as they admit on the Kickstarter page. They’re open to suggestions. May we humbly submit our vote for a maiden launch in Lake Washington off Seward Park. On a perfect Seattle summer’s day, you can’t beat the views in nearly all directions, especially that of the powerful and imposing Mt. Rainier. Other worthy considerations include Lake Union off Gas Works Park (stupendous Seattle city vistas) and the middle of Green Lake. Now, about that Jetlev…