Big Branzino sauna floats in the Stockholm archipelago

The Big Branzino floating sauna by Sandellsandberg opens to guests in the Stockholm archipelago

Big Branzino floating sauna by sandellsandberg
(Image credit: Filip Gränström)

The Big Branzino floating sauna is not just your regular platform for Nordic wellness, combining hot temperatures with the refreshing waters of the Stockholm archipelago; it is also a vessel designed to travel, taking guests on a journey to enjoy even more views and nature, while partaking in their beloved daily ritual. The timber structure was created by Thomas Sandell and Johan Strandlund at local architecture practice Sandellsandberg, and built using bespoke millwork and carpentry that celebrates the country's rich tradition in working with wood. 

front view of Big Branzino floating sauna by sandellsandberg

(Image credit: Filip Gränström)

Big Branzino by Sandellsandberg

'The design revolves around its distinct shape, where the bow shape is the central theme throughout,' the architects explain. 'The lowest point of the arch creates warmth and closeness to the glow of the fire, and as the arch rises to the sides it allows the stars of the night sky to be admired from the inside.' This distinctive shape both adds character to the floating sauna, but also keeps the overall effect clean and functional. 

exterior of Big Branzino floating sauna by sandellsandberg

(Image credit: Filip Gränström)

Its pragmatic, sturdy interiors feature open-plan spaces and large openings that embrace the vistas. The structure was hand-built by master carpenter Leif Persson at Kungsör Shipyard in Sweden. He used rugged pine for the exterior, drawing on the local species and ensuring Big Branzino blends well with the natural surroundings. Interiors and furniture are made out of western red cedar – a typical material to use for outdoor and sauna design, due to its hard-wearing nature. Meanwhile, a catamaran-style steel hull helps it float and navigate the waters. 

wood burner at Big Branzino floating sauna by sandellsandberg

(Image credit: Filip Gränström)

Big Branzino's minimalist architecture is supported by clever design that hides all the steering and navigation equipment. Custom made sections allow for this, while bespoke ironmongery also delivered the handmade brass steering wheel. It highlights the level of attention to detail undertaken by Sandellsandberg and its collaborators in order to deliver this modern floating sauna, that is a joy to experience in all weathers, and all hours of the day. 

inside Big Branzino floating sauna by sandellsandberg

(Image credit: Filip Gränström)

The result? 'When night comes, the lights are sequenced with brass icons showing the overall shape and what part is lit up from each button. The roof terrace is subtly lit by a concealed LED light along the wall top, allowing uninterrupted views of the night sky and the great views of the surrounding archipelago,' the architects write.

aerial view of Big Branzino floating sauna by sandellsandberg

(Image credit: Filip Gränström)

upstairs at Big Branzino floating sauna by sandellsandberg

(Image credit: Filip Gränström)

sandellsandberg.se 

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).