Artist’s Retreat Sauna

Designed by Katherine Hillbrand

with Don Rowe

A new ironwood footbridge leads to this former icehouse that sits at the edge of a spring-fed brook. Because of its proximity to the brook and its unique textural character the owners chose to transform this small structure into a sauna. To make it suitable for its new function, the original roof was removed. The new eccentric roof is supported by a timber-framed stem-wall and large recycled timber braces. The added heigh allows bathers to relax comfortably on newly constructed cedar benches. New windows let in natural light. The warmth of the timber-work contrasts with and compliments the massive concrete walls. Together, they provide a cogent sense of shelter and privacy. The extended gable hovers over the sauna’s entry and spatially engages with a sinuous dry-stack stone wall, which, in turn, embraces an ironwood deck. The wood deck floats on copper-capped timbers just above the ground and slips alongside the sauna with just enough space for a chair and bench. The deck terminates at stepping stones that descend into a nearby brook.

Construction by by Gordy Larson, Larson Construction
Landscape Design by Jason Aune
Photographs by Chabrielle Schutze