Bespoke outdoor sauna installation, Hampstead: North London
Garden saunas are certainly on-trend at the moment as people are keen to create their own wellness, spa and gym areas at home since the start of the pandemic. We offer a number of options from log cabins to modular garden cabin kits which are all made in Finland and shipped over to the UK. Another popular option is our bespoke outdoor sauna offering where we work with you to design the space and then send our team of expert installers to complete the job. This particular bespoke outdoor sauna installation, in Hampstead, North London is a great example of where we’ve worked closely and carefully with a client to make sure they have got a stunning Finnish sauna for many years to come. The clients have a summer house in the mountains of Norway and wanted a little bit of the Nordic country in their own back garden.
The striking sauna sits at the end of the garden within a purpose-built outdoor garden building made by ecospace with whom we often collaborate. The client wanted to be able to see the sauna highlighted from the house within the garden building and a full glass wall on the front of the sauna makes it possible. The sauna is totally visible through the French doors of the garden building and the addition of hidden LED dimmable strips work as accent lighting to highlight the wonderfully inviting view.
Much of the rest of the garden building is used for storing bikes. Our client is very active and hugely interested in the numerous well-documented sauna health benefits associated with taking regular sessions - particularly when it comes to exercise performance and muscle recovery. Naturally, they had a keen interest in fitting regular sauna sessions into a fitness regime. The client has also since mentioned how great it is to unwind in the sauna after a day of difficult meetings.
Sauna building principles
The Narvi Style 9kW elecric sauna heater heats the ~8m3 room. The stunning heater, which is made in Finland, can be covered with tiles of your choice and it has a high stone capacity of 60kg creating soft and smooth steam. The layout our design team created for this sauna helps to make use of every inch of the available space and sticks rigidly to Finnish sauna building principles. An upper bench can fit two bathers, with added space below on the lower bench. Under-bench skirting has cleverly been included to hide the upper bench frame and to tie in with the heater guard.
Thermo-Aspen benches were specified for the build. Once heated, the wood becomes much darker in colour and takes on a rich brown appearance along with a unique and fragrant toasted scent. Its durability class – like most thermo woods – is also improved to two after the process, giving it an impressively long lifespan of up to 25 years. The frames for the benches and step are made from very strong thermo spruce. The upper and lower benches have been specified at 900mm and 450mm respectively which is the perfect height to enjoy the löyly at the top of the sauna or to alternatively rest below in less intense heat.
Ventilation is absolutely crucial in order to have the best authentic Finnish sauna experience possible. In this design, fresh room temperature air is brought in near the base of the heater and from under the glass door. Once heated, it rises and circulates around the room before being ducted out of the sauna opposite to the heater, under the bench. A vent is also included in the ceiling which can be opened either while using the sauna to regulate the temperature or after a sauna session to dry out the room.
Lighting within a sauna is an important consideration and can help to imbue the space with a sense of beautiful calm and serenity. We only use lighting products that have been designed specifically for the hugely demanding environment of a hot, humid sauna. For this particular sauna design, Ledify strips were specified for use behind the backrest and the bench lips. They are highly water-resistant, IP67 rated and come in 3000K warm white for an attractive natural glow.