Island Bay, Wellington

Traditional Outdoor Sauna Experience in a Residential Garden

Our client wanted something special to take their sauna experience to a new level: a bespoke integrated outdoor sauna, shower and cooling tub area. The true Finnish sauna experience is simply not complete without a cool dip option! In lieu of snowbanks and icy ponds, the cooling tub would do nicely.

With an outdoor sauna in a populated neighbourhood, privacy becomes an important issue. So, one of the primary requirements was absolute privacy as neighbours are right on the other side of the fence.

FinnSauna’s solution was to build the shower and sauna as one fully enclosed structure in the garden, with the cooling tub subsequently added by the client. The back wall of the sauna and of the cooling tub enclosure are flush with the house. The roofless cooling tub space is enclosed by timber screens, of which one has a louvre panel for a view of the garden. The uncovered shower space is directly outside the sauna door for convenience, and it is fitted with a half-length louvre panel plus a drainage system.

The outdoor sauna has a Western Red Cedar interior, with two tiers of L-shaped benching to accommodate up to four bathers. The choice of wood is perfect for the sauna’s interior because of its ability to resist decay, moisture and wear, as well as for its rich colour and pleasant scent.

There is a glass window in the door as a safety feature and to provide natural light. A compact, wall mounted Harvia 8kW electric heater with integrated controls was installed, along with a bulkhead light under the top bench, and an outside power switch. The sauna has natural draught-fed ventilation which relies on thermal energy from rising heat to vent the sauna room properly.

This custom outdoor sauna, shower and cooling tub area is the perfect place for the family to relax in complete privacy, either alone or with guests.

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