Architecture & Design

Roof Sauna in London/ Aalto University – School of Arts, Design and Architecture

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© Valentina Casalini
  • Designers: Aalto University – School of Arts, Style and Architecture
  • Location: Queen Elizabeth Hall Roofing System Garden, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
  • Students: Pedro Pablo Garcia Alcazar, Markus Holste, Monica Romagnoli, Miki Sordi
  • Location: 71.0 m2
  • Job Year: 2017
  • Pictures:
© Valentina Casalini

Text description offered by the architects. The sauna located on the Queen Elizabeth Hall roofing balcony in Southbank, London is an intriguing sample of Finnish style abilities, integrating architecture and art. The Finnish Rooftop Sauna is an outcome of cooperation by Aalto University and Southbank Centre and it is designed and executed in collaboration with Aalto University MA trainees Pedro Pablo Garcia Alcazar, Markus Holste, Monica Romagnoli and Miki Sordi, and Finnish carver Jaakko Pernu. The sauna is open up until December 30th.

Exploded Axonometric

“It is a significant honour for Aalto University and Finland to obtain an invitation to style and implement a job like this on such a visible and dangerous area in the middle of London. It was a lot more difficult to create a sauna, that is typically seen as a synonym for Finnishness. The sauna has a substantial amount of importance and various expectations. It is especially pleasing that our students have, for the centennial of our self-reliance, analyzed the subject with empathy and nerve to re-interpret the traditions,” states teacher Pentti Kareoja from Aalto University. The architecture of the sauna is based on a wooden frame structure which is duplicated, thus developing a longitudinally-oriented structure suitable for the location.

© Valentina Casalini
Flooring Plan
© Valentina Casalini

The structure is covered with translucent polycarbonate plates that are illuminated. The concept was to create an intense landmark for London’s winter season nights. The interior functions follow both ends following the sauna routines, ending in a typical sauna in the middle of the structure. Their users can deal with each other, sculptor Pernu’s work and views over the River Thames. The Finnish rooftop sauna belongs to a Nordic Matters exhibit in the Southbank Centre. The exhibition raises awareness of the Nordic nations, that has long been ranked as the most habitable societies and recognised for being at the forefront of social change.Section 1 Southbank Centre provides what’s occurring in Nordic art and culture. Nordic Matters exhibit has picked interesting subjects and phenomena from the Nordic nations to check out for over a year. Southbank Centre is a world-famous, multi-venue arts centre in London, with a year-round celebrations program. Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, established with the Celebration of Britain in 1951. The festival programme includes art, theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, literature and debate. It reaches 6.25 million people a year and includes over 5,000 events including world-class artists from around the world. © Valentina Casalini


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