Tutors: Anna-Leena Salo (FIN) | Jenni Salomaa (FIN) | Anni Nokkonen (FIN) | Venla Keskinen (FIN)
Participants: Alicja Jakobek | Charlotte Middelveld | Dmitri Gavrisov | Emre Günel | Ionut Popa | Irina Solop | Johana Ruskova | Laura Nikkinen | Oleguer Teixidor | Pavels Osipovs | Roman Pytel | Sinem Celen | Torfinn Truchs Erga
Location: Nida | Lithuania
Photo: Alexandra Kononchenko
The idea of Kekäle is simple and deep – besides functional, traditional and contemporary at the same time. It is a Finnish sauna – project created for EASA and Nida town. The traditional content is put inside the contemporary shape. Its social aspect must be underlined as well. Kekäle can fit approximately 4-6 people comfortably, but whilst some are enjoying the heat inside the sauna, others can be swimming or relaxing on the beach. Not to make the story about Kekäle too much complicated, we’d like to go directly to the interview with tutors Anna-Leena & Jenni.
– Why does Kekäle have a shape of cube?
There are perhaps several reasons for this, some less serious than others. The main reason, however, is its simplicity and suitability to the nature of the project and the selected materials. Logs as a construction material are extremely traditional, but the monolithic purity of the cube form gave it a more modern feel.
– Is there any connection between its color (Black) and the idea of the coal?
Yes, “Kekäle” in Finnish means a piece of burning or glowing coal, and so the exterior of the sauna represents the coal and the warm light from the stove that glimmers through the window and door represents the glow itself.
– It is known for us that the location of the project changed during the process. Why did it happen so and how did it move closer to the sea?
The location of the project changed due to the fact that our original location was too close to the border of Nida’s protected forests. After studying the map we were given, it was clear that the only place with the desired proximity was on the other coast. In the end, this turned out perfect for us because we still got an amazing view from our sauna, which was one of our main goals when starting the project.
– Are there any specific equipment and materials used?
Possibly the most unique part of our build was the foundation sponsored by a Finnish company, Paalupiste. The foundation consists of seven 2.2m galvanized screw piles, six of which are located below the walls and one that is directly below the stove. Doing the foundation this way was optimal for us because the foundation itself can be unscrewed from the ground, leaving no traces behind, which in turn means that the beautiful nature of Nida is left untouched and unharmed. In addition to the foundation, we also had Finnish sponsors providing us with our logs (Honkamajat), window and door (Profin), and stove (Harvia).
– How was the water supply provided for further maintenance of sauna?
Initially, we had planned on getting a larger water container on site, however, after speaking with the Nida Art Colony, we decided it would be best if users simply bring water in smaller containers from the outdoor water faucet nearby. The keys to the sauna have been left in the good hands of the Art Colony who will coordinate the use and maintenance.
– What was the most difficult part of the construction?
The most difficult part of the construction process was the roof. The weather was not on our side, the constant wind and occasional rain showers slowed us down. In addition, the rain managed to soak our roof that had already been partially built which forced us to take it apart once more. This in turn, meant that we needed to buy some more materials before we could rebuild the roof.
Find more about Kekäle
Author: Tata Alkhazashvili