Canada Dry

Published in Sustainability by

Toronto-based architecture firm Partisans carves out a curvaceous cave in remote Canada. Housing a sauna, this structure attaches itself to a prehistoric outcrop of rock formed by glaciers on an island, somewhere in remote wilds of Canada.

Called the Grotto Sauna, it is the work of Partisans a Toronto-based architecture studio made up of Alex Josephson, Pooya Baktash and Jonathan Friedman.

Partisans haven’t built much to date, but if this little gem is anything to go by, their way of shaping space is very special. Hugging the rock face of a private island far from the inhabited world, the structure is an exercise in precise detailing and construction.

Every component was prefabricated and the whole structure assembled off site and then transported by barge to the site, thus minimizing the impact on the delicate landscape. In fact, the only construction work carried out on site involved the foundations, cladding and connecting services.

Hard-edged exterior hides a highly sculpted and sensual interior created by modelling the wooden components on a CNC route and fabricating them in close collaboration with a millwork. They were then pieced together like a giant three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.

Although the architects don’t disclose the budget, we can assume the project wasn’t built on a shoestring. Even so, it demonstrates how sustainable design can result in stunning architecture that enhances the experience of the landscape.

Interior of Grotto Sauna

Interior of Grotto Sauna

Exterior of Grotto Sauna

Exterior of Grotto Sauna

Preproduction using CNC machine

Preproduction using CNC machine

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