Löyly - an urban oasis in Helsinki
Trendy public saunas are popping up in larger cities all over Europe. We decided to check out one of the hippest establishments in the capital of sauna bathing - Löyly in Helsinki.
In Finland, public saunas form an important part of the sauna heritage. But for a long time, the number of public saunas was decreasing, as a growing number of Finnish people instead chose to install saunas at home. Today, this trend is changing, and public saunas are once again becoming social hotspots where people gather to relax and enjoy eachothers company. These new, communal saunas are targeting the hip and young crowd, and saunas are becoming an important part of the urban social scene.
Beautifully designed Löyly, is a typical example of this new wave of urban saunas. Löyly is an oasis in the city of Helsinki, located right at the waterfront near the center of town. With exceptional architecture, combining three different saunas with a restaurant and a popular terrasse for sunbathing, Löyly is a popular venue all year around.
The project was started on the initiative of the city of Helsinki in Hernesaari, a former industrial area that is being developed into a residential area. Being less than two kilometers away from the city centre, the location is very central. But despite that, the landscape rather resembles that of the outer archipelago, bringing the sensation of vacation and nature into the everyday lives of its visitors.
There are three different saunas at Löyly, and they are all heated with wood: one continuously heated sauna, one that is heated in the morning and stays warm all day, and then there is the traditional smoke sauna, which is a true rarity for an urban sauna. You can swim in the sea all year around, and in the winter there is always an “avanto”, which is a hole in the ice made for winter swimming.
Photocredit: Pekka Keranen
What does Löyly mean?
Löyly is the Finnish word for the steam that is generated when you throw water on the hot stones in a sauna.