In English | ISSUE 1/2023

Concrete Structure of the Year 2022: Serlachius Art Sauna

Concrete Structure of the Year 2022: Serlachius Art Sauna
Photo credit: Marc Goodwin

The Art Sauna of Serlachius Museums was awarded as the Concrete Structure of the Year 2022 for individual, innovative and skilled architectural design as well as competent project development and particularly high quality of implementation, with concrete playing a visible role, down to details.

The Art Sauna is located by Lake Melasjärvi in Mänttä-Vilppula, with the Gösta Museum at its background. The Sauna was designed by the same trio of architects who designed the Gösta Pavillion for Serlachius Museum: Héctor Mendoza, Mara Partida and Boris Bežan. Architects Pekka Pakkanen and Anna Kontuniemi were in charge of main design and implementation design as Finnish partners in the project.

The Sauna building complex is placed precisely in the park built as an English landscape garden, rising from the slope as concrete structures and walls.

The external structures and facades of the Sauna, as well as the outdoor structures are cast in concrete. Some of the facade panels are curved. The precisely designed, dyed and ribbed concrete facade panels feature a polished outermost surface.

The barrel-like art mosaic shower in the outdoor cooling space as well as the eight-metre long, polished cantilever table on the terrace are impressive concrete structures. The atmosphere created by the outdoor fireplace can be enjoyed at the concrete table, round the year.

”The building is a valuable whole in terms of architecture, landscape and history and a testament to durable concrete construction”, the jury gave praise in its statement.

The interior spaces of the sauna are characterised by a dialogue of art, landscape and architecture. Stone and wood surfaces alternate rhythmically, and the curved lines of the lobby’s ceiling soften the straight lines of the stone finish.

The entrance to the sauna and the layout of the rooms lead the sauna visitor on a journey into the embrace of light, nature and art. At the journey’s end awaits a round steam room, which can be reached via a cooling yard.

Read the entire article in Finnish and see the images >>