When the client for my latest mobile sauna project contacted me, he told me he needed something that would look and feel like a sauna from back home in Finland. He wanted it to be wood-fired and to get really hot. He wanted the clean lines and rustic charm of Finnish design and even requested a traditional pine tar finish like what the Vikings used on their boats. As small as it was to be, it was to have the standard two rooms- the sauna room and a dressing room. He also wanted to use the latest solar technology to light it with a soft glow.
But, working for an American company, where he might get moved from time to time, he wanted it to be un-tethered to his house, to be portable so he could always bring it with him, like a cherished possession.
I enjoy challenges–in fact, I thrive on them. One of the advantages of having my own company is that I get to decide how much to put into each project and which projects to really focus on. On some projects, like this one, I get to expand my repertoire. The goal, as always, was to bring my client’s dreams into reality. The result: a mobile sauna on a 81 by 120 inch trailer, under 3000 pounds, with two rooms, solar powered lighting, custom wood stove, northern white cedar interior, and pine tar exterior finish, did just that. I created a little oasis— a reminder of Finland—to park in his back yard, a dream come true.
Saunas are like that. When you have your own, it is a dream come true, a special place to escape into, to relax and unwind. It is tied to old traditions but for many, it is a new experience and can be life-changing. As designer and builder I get to be the midwife for people’s dreams and help them usher in a new way of living or rekindle a past love. As we turn the page to a new year and think about resolutions, what dreams do you want to come true?