Bespoke commercial sauna installation: Art'otel, Battersea Power Station, London
Jan 02, 2023
This project is a great example of how we often work very closely with other contractors, designers and architects to build a positive relationship with our clients and ensure the most positive outcome possible. As the authentic Finnish sauna specialists on this particular bespoke installation, which included a sauna and steam room, we played a central and educational role.
The timber choice: Thermo aspen
The chosen wood for this project is thermally modified aspen which becomes much darker in colour and takes on a rich brown appearance along with a unique toasted scent. Impressively, it has a lifespan of up to 30 years making it a particularly good match for commercial saunas and hi use saunas like this one. Timber is a central component of any sauna construction, and it is one that will have a substantial impact on the sauna’s cost, ambience, appearance, longevity, and durability. The timbers supplied and used by Finnmark have been selected exclusively from grade-A stocks and milled to an extremely fine standard.
Sauna insulation is crucial and helps this sauna heat up more quickly. It also protects the surrounding building materials from the sauna's heat. Vapour sealing provides the primary barrier standing between the warm, wet air trying to escape the sauna and any wood beyond it at risk from mildew, mould, and rot. For this installation, and for all our bespoke sauna installations, we use foil backed Kingspan Sauna Satu polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation board, which works particularly well as both an insulator and vapour seal and it does not degrade over time.
Sauna ventilation is a key design principle of traditional Finnish sauna and is one of the most crucial aspects of Finnish sauna construction. A constant source of oxygen-rich fresh air into the sauna ensures hot air within the space is well circulated and it removes air before it becomes stagnant. It also crucially ensures that any volatile or organic compounds entering the sauna air are dispelled swiftly. Without ventilation, the sauna air becomes stale, claggy, and potentially unhygienic, and the sauna itself can quickly deteriorate to become rotten and mouldy as excess humidity is unable to escape. Unfortunately for many Brits, the only experience of ‘sauna’ is when we head to a gym or a health club - and they are more than often poor appropriations of the real deal.
The heater choice: A commercial grade soapstone heater from Tulikivi
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