Art Sauna

Serlachius Museums’ New Art Sauna

A new architectonic perspective into the concept of Finnish sauna, Art Sauna stands on the shore of Serlachius Museum Gösta. The name Art Sauna is appropriate for this architecturally unique sauna building which houses both art and design.

The same architect trio who designed Serlachius Museum Gösta’s Pavilion is responsible for the planning of Art Sauna: Hector Mendoza, Mara Partida and Boris Bežan. In Finland, architectural partner in the project is Pekka Pakkanen. The three architects outline the idea of the design project as follows:

The new art-sauna space is understood as a continuation of the emotional journey of the whole Serlachius Museum. Museum visitors’ experience is more than the act of observing art inside an ad-hoc space. Instead, they get embraced by a chain of moments in which landscape, art, and architecture blend. It is in that sense that the new sauna space extends that experience into a new more delicate and domestic scale. One of the main strategies is to merge the new art-sauna space with the ground, so it becomes part of the landscape instead of a new building, or a small replica of the well-known museum.

Embraced by Architecture, Landscape and Art

The sauna’s architectural starting point is a horizontal line created by a stone section below and a wood section above it, with the sauna located beneath the line. Discreetly protruding from the ground, the sauna is hiding in the slope that descends towards the lake shore and blending in in the landscape. A continuum of diagonal grooves sets rhythm for the concrete surface of the building. A green roof merges the sauna with its surroundings. 

The interior is characterised by the dialogue of art, landscape, and architecture. Stone and wood material give the surfaces an alternating rhythm: arching vaults of the lobby’s oak ceiling soften the straight lines of the stone finish. The layout of the premises leads the sauna visitor to a journey embraced by light, nature and art. A round steam room awaits in the journey’s end. Made of thermo aspen whose surface shines in various shades of brown, the sauna benches in the steam room reach to the ceiling and create its mellow atmosphere.

The timelessness and high quality of the shapes and materials has been emphasised in the design of the architecture and interior of the sauna. Domestic and international design in the interior offers interesting touching points both literally as well as tangibly.

Finnish and International Art and Design

In addition to artworks, art is also featured in utility items of the sauna. Satu Rautiainen’s large-scale commissioned work Birds’ Drinking Place (2022) decorates the wall of the lobby. The theme of the work is also repeated in sauna textiles designed by Rautiainen. The artworks of the lobby have been created by Anni Rapinoja and Jussi Goman. In the shower rooms, a watchful viewer may notice Sauna bathers created by Eric o. W. Ehrtröm. Art is also visible outdoors, such as Tuula Lehtinen’s mosaic work, among others.  

The interior of the sauna features furniture from top international designers such as Òscar Tusquets, Patricia Urquiola, Jasper Morrison and Faye Toogood. Also renowned Finnish designers, such as Alvar Aalto and Markku Sale are represented in the sauna world. The handprint of the awarded carpenter of the younger generation, Antrei Hartikainen can be seen in the forms of the Bastone sideboard as well as in the scoops and sauna pails, which Hartikainen has especially designed for the Serlachius Art Sauna.

Héctor Mendoza, Mara Partida and Boris Bežan

Execution planning
Pekka Pakkanen and Anna Kontuniemi

Landscape design
Gretel Hemgård

Art curator
Laura Kuurne

Interior design
Rafael Maynegre

Overall concept
Päivi Viherkoski

Artworks at Art Sauna
Jussi Goman, Spring, 2018, acrylic on canvas
Jussi Goman, Red Banana, 2019, acrylic on canvas
Jussi Goman, Lemon, 2019, ceramic, glaze, spray paint
Anne Koskinen, Helena (Findling), 2014, migmatite 
Anne Koskinen, Benita (Findling), 2014, granite
Anne Koskinen, Chrys (Findling), 2017, granite
Anne Koskinen, Rusty (Findling), 2015–2017, granite
Laura Könönen, Mood, 2014, diorite, sound system, sound 
Laura Könönen, No Heaven up in the Sky, 2022 diorite
Tuula Lehtinen,  Embrace, 2022, mosaic
Anni Rapinoja, Autumn Trip Shoes, 2009, fellow worker: Bog whortleberry, shoe size: 38 
Anni Rapinoja, Autumn Party Bag, 2010, fellow worker: Bog whortleberry, Rabbit 
Satu Rautiainen, Birdbath, 2022, acrylic, ink, oil on MDF
Noora Schroderus, Intim interiör, 2022, plaster, oak board

Design picks
Antrei Hartikainen, scoop for throwing water on the sauna stove and sauna pail
Irina Pått, 14 dancers, plywood light works
Satu Rautiainen, Bath towels and sauna cloths made by Jokipiin Pellava Oy 
Satu Rautiainen Harvest pattern on table mats and Thicket pattern on the cover of the bubble tub

Please note that the access to the Art Sauna Area is permitted only by reservation and on public sauna days. Please do not take dogs in the sauna area.

Book a sauna experience for your group! Tel. +358 3 488 6801 or