Westmere, Auckland

A Kiwi-Style Design for an Outdoor Sauna

Our client wanted a free-standing, outdoor sauna in a residential garden, specifically requesting a traditional ‘Kiwi look’. An attached, covered verandah with built-in benches was also a requirement. The sauna faces a swimming pool; it’s the perfect spot for relaxing and entertaining family and guests.

The pitched roofed structure was erected on a treated-timber platform built on a level metal base, utilising ply and battens for the exterior walls (which can be stained or painted) and timber decking for the floor.

The interior of the sauna can comfortably accommodate four seated (or two reclining) bathers on two tiers of L-shaped Abachi benching. A wise choice, since Abachi wood remains comfortable to the touch even at high temperatures, resists stains and odour absorption, and has no knots or splinters.

The horizontal panelling was crafted from Finnish Spruce, one of the most commonly used timbers for sauna panelling in Finland because it’s durable, it 'breathes', and it retains and reflects heat to provide the right climate within the sauna. Finnish Spruce is a low resin, slow growing wood with many small knots and pronounced grain, which tends to retain its beautiful light colour, and it has a traditional, rustic-look about it.

A window was fitted in one of the walls as well as in the wooden door for natural light, safety, and views into the garden. Bulkhead lights were installed under the top bench to supplement the lighting.

An 8kW Harvia electric heater was installed in a corner for optimal utilisation of space. This stylish heater contains a generous amount of stones that give off a wonderful cloud of steam. Natural, draught-fed ventilation, which harnesses thermal energy from rising heat, was installed to ensure a good supply of fresh air in the hot environment.

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