It would be amazing to sit in this Canadian sauna and enjoy the view. Located on San Souci Island, Georgian Bay, Ontario, it was designed by PARTISANS. What a great retreat from the often harsh weather on the Georgian Bay.
Perched at the northwest edge of an island on Georgian Bay, the Grotto Sauna is a feat of old-world craftsmanship and new-world sustainability made possible by cutting-edge software and fabrication technology. It is a sculpted space, a sensual experience, and a sophisticated exercise in building science.
Inspired by an Italian grotto—a secret water-filled cave concealed within unsuspecting rock formations—our design pays homage to the extremities of the Northern Ontario landscape. To the extent that the objective was to tell an architectural story of escape and refuge, we conceived of a design that married contrasts to transport visitors into an otherworldly sanctum.
Importantly, the Grotto is a highly sustainable structure that established a successful methodology for addressing the challenges of building ambitious architecture in remote and environmentally sensitive regions. Our 3D digital modelling of the site allowed for a meticulous analysis and positioning of the structure such that site impact was minimized and sunset views maximized. We also collaborated directly with MCM, our fabrication partner, on every detail to develop new prototyping methods and software code for milling.