Two years ago, a small architecture firm called goCstudio launched a Kickstarter campaign to turn an strange-seeming design into a reality.
The idea would take the humble sauna and make it float on water so you could sweat and swim all in one fell swoop.
The campaign barely hit its crowdfunding goal — it made it with just $725 to spare. But on June 30, the American Institute of Architects named the firm’s floating sauna, dubbed “wa_sauna,” one of this year’s four Small Project Award winners, due to its exciting design that cost less than $150,000 to bring to life.
You can store the sauna in a marina as you would a boat, or keep it docked near private property.
Architects Jon Gentry and Aimée O’Carroll hatched the idea for wa_sauna, which gets its name from their home state of Washington, two years after founding goCstudio.
The duo loved the idea of building a dual-purpose object that could float on the water.
“As spring came, the project took on a life of its own,” they wrote on their Kickstarter page. “Seattleites and the greater design community took hold of the project and published, blogged and re-blogged our concept images.”
The team spent years honing the final design — the sauna is made from pre-manufactured aluminum and features a wood-burning stove as the heating element. A flotation system doubles as a deck.
The designers have also installed a small diving platform, in case you want to add some hang time to your back flip.
For now, the firm isn’t selling any consumer versions of the sauna. It only has one model, which “can be seen quietly exploring Seattle’s lakes on a regular basis,” according to an AIA statement.
Maybe they’ll let you aboard on your next trip to Seattle.
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