Gösta’s Pavilion, Serlachius Museum
Seeking a designer for their lakefront sauna, the Serlachius Museum in Mänttä-Vilppula chose to again engage the services of their Gösta Museum competition-winning Spanish trio of architects. Héctor Mendoza, Mara Partida and Boris Bezan (Mendoza-Partida Architectural Studio and BAX Studio) opted to join forces with Finnish architects Pekka Pakkanen and Anna Kontuniemi (Planetary Architecture), to deliver the sauna, which was completed in summer 2022.
Executed in concrete, the building is located to the front of the Gösta Museum at Lake Melasjärvi. The choice of material is not the only act of defiance against our national sauna-building tradition; there is plenty here that will thrust Finnish visitors, and others steeped in our decidedly archaic and log-centric culture, on an expedition towards the unexpected.
The end result is, above all, an experience, a journey that draws on the cultural hinterlands of its creators while treating visitors to wealth of other artworks along the path. The path brings you to the sauna, accessible through an outdoor space. The Art Sauna is unmistakeably a manifestation of Finland’s new sauna culture, where the tradition for calm and cleansing has been replaced by a pursuit for memorable experiences and socialising.
Source: Finlandia Prize for Architecture 2022 pre-selection jury report