© SPOT architects

VIBA’S SAUNA // SPOT architects

Mārupe, Latvia

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Text description provided by the architects.

The two main factors which defined the choice of building perimeter and placement were the maxi-mum allowed building area of 25m2 as well as the legislative distance from the neighboring properties and the existing residential buildings. The exterior perimeter of the sauna building is strictly bound by the aforementioned restrictions.

© Filips Smits

© Filips Smits

The diverse building context of Mārupe does not allow for a classic sauna design, therefore, the exterior image of the building was purposefully designed as an object in the corner of the garden – modest looking and distant from the surrounding environment.

In order to trigger an emotional adventure and create an illusion of a spacious room, proven and tested design principles were applied.

© SPOT architects

© SPOT architects

For example, the building geometry together with the carefully crafted interior connections create clean planes. Each plane is bounded by at least one edge thus allowing it to enter the outdoor space. This approach does not obscure the view and alters the actual size of the space. The second principle is to work with two spaces at a time instead of dividing them into functional groups or focusing on them individually.

© Filips Smits

© Filips Smits

The two spaces complement each other and generate spatial as well as visual interaction, thus sharing common architectural values. Being in one of the other room provides a balanced, unified experience. The second advantage of working with room couples is the ability to create different characters for rooms with different functionalities.

© Filips Smits

© Filips Smits

For example, one can enjoy an unobstructed view through the lounge room’s window while resting in the with warm, wooden sau-na room. However, the window seen from the bath is facing the other side of the yard. Moreover, this room features cold glass and stone elements which distance one from the sauna room and create a completely different and functionally corresponding spatial character.

The concept of the building reflects the core functionality of sauna, namely, the contrast between hot and cold as an analogy of Axis Mundi (the connection between Heaven and Earth) which accommodates all four classical elements: water (pool), fire (sauna), air (skylight) and earth (lounge).

© Filips Smits

© Filips Smits

The use of skylight was inspired by the significant changes in temperature when leaving the sauna room. The skylight, as well as the two yard-facing windows, create the illusion of refreshing outdoor space. What emphasizes the notion of Axis Mundi is a conflux of seven interior planes challenging the purity of the details.
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© Filips Smits

© Filips Smits

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