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Spa People
Taichi Kuma

I like saunas where you can detox from digital gadgets, internalise and confront yourself


Taichi Kuma, son of the celebrated Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, has designed a striking new sauna for the Sana Mane glamping destination in southern Japan.

Nestled between a forest and a beach, the 150-layer wooden sauna is built from 5,000 pieces of stacked plywood and curves upwards into a spiral shape inspired by the geometry of seashells and fishtails. In a nod to this, the structure – called Sazae – is named after the Japanese word for the horned turban sea snail’s shell.

Inside the sauna, the pleats of wood are gently shaped to provide a comfortable seating space. The interior is illuminated by natural light from an oculus in the ceiling as well as specialist durable LED lighting.

The temperature and humidity are kept at an optimum level, despite the high ceiling, thanks to environmental simulations and a design which forces ventilation.

Taichi became a partner at Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA) in 2020. His father Kengo founded the practice and has worked with leading hospitality brands around the world such as Six Senses, Capella and St Regis.

Kengo’s wellness projects range from one of the largest spas in the Caribbean at Mandarin Oriental Dellis Cay and the pixelated stone design of the Yunfeng Spa Resort in China to skincare packaging for Aman and a meditation house at Das Kranzbach spa hotel in Bavaria.

Taichi collaborated with Japan-based sauna brand TTNE to realise the design of Sazae. According to KKAA, Sazae’s linear pleats were pieced together like a puzzle and draw on biomimicry.

The eye-catching sauna has been brought to life on Naoshima island, a creative hotspot known as ‘Japan’s art island’ thanks to its abundance of art museums, sculptures and architecture.

Taichi describes the sauna as a “cave-like space with many twists and turns, cut off from the outside world by a thin wall”. For him, its most important advantage is its ability to help people experience Naoshima’s nature more deeply and profoundly once they exit the sauna.

“Personally, I like saunas where you can detox yourself from digital gadgets, internalise and confront yourself. Saunas have the effect of attracting such natural charm. When you bathe in plenty of moisture and heat, the air you feel afterwards is something else.”

He encourages bathers to use the sauna as part of a contrast thermotherapy cycle and cool off by swimming in the nearby sea.

Reserved for hotel guests only, Sazae must be booked in advance. Guests are allowed to eat and drink inside and are offered bath towels, sauna hats, sauna mats and sandals for free. They can also upgrade their experience by selecting either a herbal or citrus aromatherapy oil to scent the sauna and opt to take in a traditional Finnish vihta – a bunch of young birch leaves used for light slapping on the body to help with circulation.

The 150-layer wooden sauna is built from 5,000 pieces of stacked plywood Credit: photo: Keishin
The sauna is situated in a creative hotspot on Naoshima island in Japan Credit: photo: Keishin
Credit: photo: Keishin
The spiral shape was inspired by the geometry of seashells and fishtails Credit: photo: Keishin Horikoshi/
The interior is illuminated by natural light from an oculus in the ceiling Credit: photo: Keishin
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Uniting the world of spa & wellness
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News   Products   Magazine   Subscribe
Spa People
Taichi Kuma

I like saunas where you can detox from digital gadgets, internalise and confront yourself


Taichi Kuma, son of the celebrated Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, has designed a striking new sauna for the Sana Mane glamping destination in southern Japan.

Nestled between a forest and a beach, the 150-layer wooden sauna is built from 5,000 pieces of stacked plywood and curves upwards into a spiral shape inspired by the geometry of seashells and fishtails. In a nod to this, the structure – called Sazae – is named after the Japanese word for the horned turban sea snail’s shell.

Inside the sauna, the pleats of wood are gently shaped to provide a comfortable seating space. The interior is illuminated by natural light from an oculus in the ceiling as well as specialist durable LED lighting.

The temperature and humidity are kept at an optimum level, despite the high ceiling, thanks to environmental simulations and a design which forces ventilation.

Taichi became a partner at Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA) in 2020. His father Kengo founded the practice and has worked with leading hospitality brands around the world such as Six Senses, Capella and St Regis.

Kengo’s wellness projects range from one of the largest spas in the Caribbean at Mandarin Oriental Dellis Cay and the pixelated stone design of the Yunfeng Spa Resort in China to skincare packaging for Aman and a meditation house at Das Kranzbach spa hotel in Bavaria.

Taichi collaborated with Japan-based sauna brand TTNE to realise the design of Sazae. According to KKAA, Sazae’s linear pleats were pieced together like a puzzle and draw on biomimicry.

The eye-catching sauna has been brought to life on Naoshima island, a creative hotspot known as ‘Japan’s art island’ thanks to its abundance of art museums, sculptures and architecture.

Taichi describes the sauna as a “cave-like space with many twists and turns, cut off from the outside world by a thin wall”. For him, its most important advantage is its ability to help people experience Naoshima’s nature more deeply and profoundly once they exit the sauna.

“Personally, I like saunas where you can detox yourself from digital gadgets, internalise and confront yourself. Saunas have the effect of attracting such natural charm. When you bathe in plenty of moisture and heat, the air you feel afterwards is something else.”

He encourages bathers to use the sauna as part of a contrast thermotherapy cycle and cool off by swimming in the nearby sea.

Reserved for hotel guests only, Sazae must be booked in advance. Guests are allowed to eat and drink inside and are offered bath towels, sauna hats, sauna mats and sandals for free. They can also upgrade their experience by selecting either a herbal or citrus aromatherapy oil to scent the sauna and opt to take in a traditional Finnish vihta – a bunch of young birch leaves used for light slapping on the body to help with circulation.

The 150-layer wooden sauna is built from 5,000 pieces of stacked plywood Credit: photo: Keishin
The sauna is situated in a creative hotspot on Naoshima island in Japan Credit: photo: Keishin
Credit: photo: Keishin
The spiral shape was inspired by the geometry of seashells and fishtails Credit: photo: Keishin Horikoshi/
The interior is illuminated by natural light from an oculus in the ceiling Credit: photo: Keishin
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FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Introducing Oslo: MSpa's revolutionary portable rigid spa
As a leading brand in the portable spa industry, MSpa boasts more than 20 years of experience. [more...]

Book4Time unveils enhanced day and resort pass functionality
Book4Time has announced the launch of Day & Resort Passes on its award-winning platform to help hotels and resorts drive staycation business. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Swissline by Dermalab

Inspired by the science of cellular rejuvenation, Swissline was founded in Switzerland in 1989, igni [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

22-22 Jun 2024

World Bathing Day

Worldwide,
22-24 Jun 2024

IECSC Las Vegas

Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, United States
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2024

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