Studio Puisto designs Pistohiekka Resort | Finnish lakeside sauna

Around Finland’s largest lake, Studio Puisto has designed two black-painted timber buildings to form a new sauna-restaurant at the Pistohiekka Resort.

Enshrouded by trees in a rocky cove, the resort comprises two square structures which have been punctuated with circular-shaped openings to invite the scenery in. By forming this strong design aesthetic based on central, curved outdoor spaces, the Helsinki-based architects sought to creating an inviting and immersive visitor attraction.

Pistohiekka Resort is also known for its world-class wooden architecture that harmonises with Saimaa’s stunning lake landscape

The Pistohiekka Resort is part of a wider plan to rebuild the area, which was once a renowned sauna and leisure spot in the 1980s, and boost tourism to this beautiful part of southeastern Finland. 

“The starting point for the Pistohiekka sauna-restaurant was the magnificent location, situated between rocky areas in a tranquil cove,” explained Studio Puisto. 

Modern cabins provide luxury accommodation, all with south-facing terraces

“The curved inner courtyard of the restaurant creates viewpoints both in and out of the building, and the covered sauna exteriors with a unique, round opening in the roof create a thematic link between the buildings,” Studio Puisto added.

Large terraces around the curved inner courtyard of the sauna building offer a sheltered and sociable seating area from which to lie back and soak up the view. The opening deepens here, acting as a cylindrical light well and creating a feeling of being protected and set back from the ever-changing weather conditions. 

Designed to blend into the natural Saimaa landscape with their unassuming black exterior façades, both buildings offer a place in which to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. They are carefully positioned, opening up to face the lake on the west side and leading down to stepped, rock-lined terraces with access to two landing stages for boats. 

The contemporary wood-lined sauna is a serene space from which to sit and gaze across the beach and lake

The dark and alluring exteriors are contrasted by the inviting and warm interiors lined with pale wood. Even from inside, the architecture places attention on the sight lines out to the landscape. Large apertures in the restaurant and well-positioned openings in the saunas make the most of the undeniably beautiful views. 

The black timber-painted buildings are arranged around terraces with access down to the lake

Project details

Project name: Pistohiekka Resort

Location: Pistohiekka, Finland

Scope: Restaurant and sauna 315m² and terraces 400m²

Client: Pistohiekka Sauna Oy

Photography: Marc Goodwin, Archmospheres

Architectural plans: Courtesy of Studio Puisto

Read more about the architecturally designed environments and spaces by Studio Puisto.

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