Osaka-based Kairi Eguchi Studio designed YOKI Sauna not just as a place of relaxation and rejuvenation. But also as a communal place of sort with nature as its construction is deeply rooted in nature.

This minimalist wooden sauna sits in an abandoned elementary school in Hyogo, Japan. It is nestled in Aogaki, Tamba City and designed to facilitate a symbiotic relationship with its surrounding environment. It was built using thinning trees collected from its surrounding forest. The wood is cut down from the mountains by the company that operates it, Kiei Co.

Meanwhile, the water used in its baths is drawn from high-quality natural headwaters of the Kakogawa River. Moreover, the branding of the YOKI Sauna pays homage to the backdrop of the nearby mountains. It’s named as such with the symbol mark of four trees circulating and “yoki” which stands for “great” circulation. 

As for its structure, it takes a unique form inspired by the traditional shape of the barrel. This sauna is also characterized by a stepped ceiling with a long and narrow window. The strategic placing of the window just on one end of the ceiling results in a mesmerizing interplay of light and shadow. 

Sunlight seeps through and shines one side of the wall inside while the other remains basked in shade. There are two benches facing each other inside. Meanwhile, there is a wash area outside to freshen up before stepping into rejuvenating warmth. There are also lounge chairs outside for communing with nature. YOKI Sauna is built for private use, attached to an accommodation facility built at the abandoned school. 

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Images courtesy of Kairi Eguchi