Like something straight out of a fairytale, this small getaway isn’t actually a house but a sauna. The unique retreat has been designed by architecture studio Artecology, led by Andrey Bugaev. The building is set in Russia, where bathhouses aren’t all that uncommon.
The immediate forest surroundings help reinforce the “fairytale” concept. The structure is composed of larch logs that are 280 mm (11 inches) thick, helping to give it its chunky, solid appearance. Larch itself is a moisture resistant species, but to ensure the wood stands the test of time it’s been naturally treated.
The chunky roof immediately catches the eye. The thatch is reminiscent of thatched Irish cottages, and not only keeps the rain and wind out, but also thoroughly insulates the interior, keeping it warm during the harsh Russian winter.
The sauna is heated by a brick wood-burning stove, with rocks placed on the top section over which you can throw the water. There’s also a second floor where visitors can rest up after session. The hut, or Izbushka in Russian, is accompanied by summerhouse set on the same site, in the same other-worldly style.