borhaven arkitekter’s two-sauna facility in oslo recalls 19th-century bathhouse

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‘Bademaschinen’ by borhaven arkitekter

The ‘Bademaschinen’ in Oslo is an eye-catching two-sauna facility boasting a tower-and-spire structure inspired by the classic sea bathhouse known as Sjøbadehus. Norwegian practice Borhaven Arkitekter completed the 90 sqm project in 2021, laying it out in the inner Oslofjord waterway, facing the Opera House and Hovedøya island. 

‘Sjøbadehus was a popular public health facility in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century before the inner Oslofjord became too polluted for swimming. The design is also the result of reusing windows from the closed Grande nursing home in Drøbak, which contributes to the facility’s special character, in addition to details that give associations to the maritime,’ writes the practice.

borhaven arkitekter's two-sauna facility in oslo recalls 19th-century bathhouse

all images courtesy of Borhaven Arkitekter 

warm-toned palette with historical influence  

The ‘Bademaschinen’ by Borhaven Arkitekter (see more here) consists of two saunas, two towers with changing rooms, a diving tower, and an access point from Langkaia quay. In-between these spaces, a small square emerges for gathering and other activities. The supporting structure and roof are composed of red royal-treated spruce, while external walls feaure reused teak windows, their glass panes replaced with oiled plywood. Both saunas have benches stepped into three levels, and accommodate a total of 16 people each.

Supporting structure and roof in red royal-treated spruce, with external walls consisting of reused teak windows where the glass panes have been replaced with oiled plywood. The material palette recalls the historical context and colors of Oslo’s Akershus fortress, where a row of cannons coated in green and bronze delineate the contours of the property. All internal surfaces, sauna benches, and other furnishings are made of veneer. 

‘Bademaschinen’ was designed and carried out in collaboration with Fjord Ingeniører AS and ACT AS.

borhaven arkitekter's two-sauna facility in oslo recalls 19th-century bathhouse

echoing the tower-and-spire design of the famous Sjøbadehus bathhouse

borhaven arkitekter's two-sauna facility in oslo recalls 19th-century bathhouserepurposed windows, their glass panes replaced with oiled plywood

borhaven arkitekter's two-sauna facility in oslo recalls 19th-century bathhouseborhaven arkitekterBorhaven Arkitekter fitted a square between the different structures

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