Smallest Sauna on Earth, Marcis Ziemins
Marcis Ziemins Design Studio Tuesday 12 May 2015

The Smallest Sauna on Earth, by Marcis Ziemins is created as a way to share the decaying traditions of his home country of Latvia, where the sauna is a cherished method of cleansing and unwinding. After organizing a class trip to Latvia to learn more about the country's rituals, Ziemins sought ways to bring the sauna tradition back to Eindhoven with him.

Ziemins began designing a smaller version of the large saunas he saw in Latvia, something simple in scale and stature so that users could easily understand the concept and principles of how one works. What he arrived at was a device that could imbue a small space with the atmosphere of a sauna. "It will not get as humid or as hot as the real sauna, just the ambience and aroma," Ziemins says. The Latvian native also looked to incorporate the classic four elements—fire, earth, water and air—into the design. Not thinking much about mass-production, Ziemins saw the object as something to be made by hand, feeding into ideas of rituals and tradition.

With herbal tea slowly dripping on hot stones, the Smallest Sauna on Earth emits a meditative atmosphere. The base of the Sauna is made of granite that doesn’t become too hot and keeps the object fireproof. Basalt stones are placed onto the base — they heat up fast and remain hot for a long time, besides, they don’t break when water is poured on them. The water tank is made of copper, which is an antibacterial material, therefore often used in saunas and kitchens. The heat source is a small alcohol lamp, hidden in the stone, and the sauna can operate for about two to three hours.