Victorian Sea-Bathing Machine

Based on the Victorian changing huts that protected ladies’ modesty when they were getting changed for a swim in the sea, this is essentially a wood fired sauna on wheels. It will live on Margate beach and be available for the public to hire for a massage and a sauna. A tractor tows it to the water’s edge so that you can use the sea as a plunge pool.

It was commissioned by Dom Bridges who owns Haeckels, a natural fragrance and skin care brand based in Margate, and designed by local architect Chloe Young of Re-Works Studio. We worked closely with the design team and metal worker to make this sauna / vehicle / outdoor structure a reality.

The outer structure had to be weatherproof and completely separate from the inner wall of the sauna because of insulation and expansion of materials. The outer section was mainly tanalysed pine bolted to a steel chassis. The sauna was all constructed from Alder, a Scandinavian timber that reacts well to the heat and humidity.

A lot of time was spent making a structure that could withstand the strains and stresses that are involved with moving something of this size and weight. The sapilli framed main window for example had to sit in a cushioned bed of silicone.

The names of crowd funders were CNC routered in to the external cladding.