Collaborative art installation project


Black Rock City, Nevada, US


Completed in August 2019


Sauna pavilion


Steam of Life Burning Man Nevada

Circle-shaped Steam of Life Pavilion, co-designed by JKMM architects and Sauna on Fire collective, will be built in Burning Man festival to offer the sequenced sauna experience, as a deconstructed art installation.

Marcus Kujala, Hannu Rytky, Päivi Aaltio and Samppa Lappalainen, three architects and the CEO of JKMM Architects will contribute to the unique participatory culture of Burning Man by joining the Sauna on Fire -collective, an interdisciplinery group of artists, thinkers, scholars and Burners with an ambition and curiosity for co-creation, volunteerism, positive spirit and inclusion of participants with diverse backgrounds; – by introducing the essence of Finnish mindscape in the physical form of a sauna pavilion at the Burning Man society in 2019.

“Steam of Life”, the co-created timber pavilion, embodies the typical physical elements of a Finnish sauna. It is a human scale wooden building, minimalistic in its aesthetic and focused on embracing ambient natural light and shade, in response to what will be a major gathering within a hot desert environment.A passageway will guide visitors to circulate through the round shaped sauna pavilion. Stepping in from the harsh desert light, visitors enter a low-lit passage that leads to the steam room, the heart of a Finnish Sauna, with wooden benches and the “kiuas” stove. After enjoying a sauna, visitors will enter a softly-lit space opening onto the atrium yard in the middle of the pavilion. In the absence of a lake, sea or a pile of snow to dip into, the atrium yard offers a shaded oasis for cooling down and meditative relaxing.

Just like saunas in Finland, Steam of Life -pavilion is about capturing the same ideal of a shared sense of humanity in a memorable and timeless way.