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There are examples of a return to utilising nature and a simple harmony of function and practicality found at Ribersborgs Kallbadhusl in Malmo and Bastun i frihamnen in Gothenburg. At Ribersborgs in particular, where, firstly, you are presented with a walk down a promenade that glides across the shallow sea water to a beautiful 1914 constructed elegant wooden structure. The structure is almost the shape of a number 8 on its side where two calm pools of seawater are trapped for bathers to cool off. There is a large boulder wall that protects the structure and the pools from the crashing sea waves but you are also able to access these waves if you fancy a slightly rougher dip. From inside the mixed sauna a large window faces the waves crashing into the boulder wall where you can sit and watch European Swallows swoop in and out of view. Bastun i frihamnen in Gothenburg is situated in an industrial part of town on the dock side. Its interesting architectural aesthetic embraces its neighbourhood with the skin of this stilted structure, a corrugated metal facade akin to that of the shipping containers across the water. This sauna utilises again the abundance of water that the city is built around where it is channeled into an open air swimming pool that floats alongside the natural waterways. Although this sauna has a clear reference to the city with its appearance it also has kept the simplicity that is so charming to the more rural country saunas and has embraced its own area, for example the changing rooms are built from 12,000 recycled glass bottles which could be compared to the country sauna being built from the birch wood from the surrounding forrest.

The varying types of saunas across sweden certainly did provide an overview we had hoped for from simple wooden hut saunas in the country, to mutated fusions of Hammams, Saunas and Roman baths under one roof in the city. We also had a few surprises thrown in like Sara’s clay sauna in the quarry and wonderful examples of bathing houses striking a harmonious blend of the rural simplicity of sauning within the hectic bustle of the city like at Ribersborgs Kallbadhusl in Malmo and Bastun i frihamnen in Gothenburg.

From our trip, seeing a good portion of Sweden, we already realised we need to go back to explore the rural northern section of the country. We found this out best by saunaing and talking with local enthusiasts and regulars at the saunas we visited, which we found to be an invaluable part of our research. Not only invaluable through offering further saunas to visit but also in historical details, stories and practical details about materials, how to build saunas and how to form a community through saunaing and working with councils and the public. The varying styles change city by city and region by region, which is such an exciting prospect as our research can continually grow with our understanding of different countries and styles of bathing culture.