JKMM designs ecological people’s sauna in Oulu

27 05 2022

A unique public sauna is planned to be built in the city centre of Oulu by Oulun Rantasaunaseura (local open and non-profit sauna society promoting sauna culture). Construction starts in 2024, and the sauna is planned to be open to the public by 2026. On that same year the city of Oulu is celebrated as the European Capital of Culture.

The designers for the ecological and community-based sauna project ‘Tuiran Sauna’ comes from JKMM, architects Teemu Kurkela and Lars-Erik Mattila. Tuiran Sauna will be the first building in Oulu designed by JKMM.

“The people’s sauna is a place where the well-being of body and mind meets culture,” says Kurkela. This project will have great potential to promote Oulu’s international image as an Arctic expert and promoter of sauna culture.

The architecture is modern, but its character and content are born out of respect of local tradition. “The 12-metre-long logs on the roof of the people’s sauna tell the story of the history of log driving in the local river ‘Oulujoki’,” says Mattila, who specialises in designing ecological buildings.

The designers are creating a building that will last for a long time: “The sauna will be built in an ecological way in order to the future generations all the way to the 2200s are able to continue taking a sauna there.”

“It’s great to have a top-class designer duo involved in the development of the northern sauna culture,” says Chairman Jussi Pöllä of the Oulu Rantasaunaseura. Since it was founded in 2004, the society’s goal has been to establish a public sauna in the city.

You can find more information about the Oulun Rantasaunayhdistys and the project here.