2024 TxA Design Award
2024 Paper City Houston Retail Design Honorable Mention

Contractor: Kit Constructs
Photography: César Béjar Studio

Sudor Sauna

The design augments the embodied experience of visitors by providing subtle transitions that gradually separate them from their everyday lives. These transitions include spatial elements, gradations in light, and soothing materials. The design focuses on sensual and experiential qualities that enables visitors to feel more in-touch with their own body.

The space provides private rooms where visitors can sweat within a personal sauna, reset in cold-plunge pools, and cleanse within the showers. Visitors check in at an entry lobby, before proceeding to a ring of circulation that offers access to the private spaces beyond. As visitors move through the space, they experience a deliberate separation from the world outside.

Upon entry, guests pass through thirteen-foot-tall cypress doors before encountering the front desk, a veined block of stone, beneath an expansive vaulted ceiling. Windows at the entry fill the space with natural light. A thickened wall forms a threshold between the day lit entry and the darker corridor beyond. As visitors pass through this threshold, slender cove lights along the wall illuminate the path’s edge, revealing the interior wall’s texture. The corridor’s curve gradually reveals the subsequent private spaces, generating a sense of exploration.

Within the curve of the corridor, the cool hard surfaces predominant in the lobby give way to softer, warmer materials. Vertical slats of locally sourced cypress wrap the outer wall of the path, providing a sense of warmth and comfort. The slats clad both the walls and the doors to the private saunas, concealing their entries. As guests move along the path, the wood floor ramps upward slightly, elevating each space before reaching a peak outside of the bathing spaces. Guests experience a slight climb as they approach their individual room and then descend as they move back toward the daylight that slips in from the exterior.