'Löyly' Public Sauna in Helsinki: A Soothing Sanctuary for Eco-Hedonists

Within a year, Löyly, the dynamic sauna complex on the Helsinki waterfront, has become an atmospheric design destination and award-winning architectural landmark. Founded by famous environmentalists, Antero Vartia and Jasper Pääkkönen, Löyly also stands out due to the green construction principles and remarkable sustainable business practices. 

Words: Meri Frig

  Löyly Complex.

Löyly Complex.

Having gained international recognition, Löyly is considered a true architectural gem in Helsinki. Does Löyly represent specifically Finnish or Scandinavian design? What makes its architecture remarkable?

The architecture of Löyly is modern and Finnish. Ecological values are also emphasised. It was important that the complex becomes one with the sea landscape. The building is designed to look like a rock on the shoreline. 

Löyly: A Soothing Sanctuary for Eco-Hedonists #Savant

Photo: Pekka Keränen

Löyly is also a forerunner in sustainable business and green construction. How do these principles come across within the building?

Environmental responsibility is considered in many ways. Löyly is the first FSC-certified building in Finland, which proves that all wood material comes from responsibly-managed forests. The complex uses only ecological electricity. Environmental responsibility is also visible in many other ways, for instance, all toilet tissue and paper hand towels are of 100% recycled paper. 50 cents of every Jasper’s fish soup sold is donated to the World Wildlife Foundation.

"It was important that the complex becomes one with the sea landscape. The building is designed to look like a rock on the shoreline."

  Löyly / Photo: Pekka Keränen

Löyly / Photo: Pekka Keränen

  Löyly. 

Löyly. 

How is communality taken into consideration in Löyly’s design?

The planning of Löyly already aimed to maximise the size of common areas. For instance, the dressing rooms are smaller in size, so that the common areas are allowed more space. Toilets and saunas are built to be unisex areas. 

How do saunas help to improve your health and well-being? 

A doctor would perhaps know a better answer to this question. But I can say from my own experience that it certainly relaxes and relieves stress.

  Löyly / Photo: Pekka Keränen

Löyly / Photo: Pekka Keränen

The founders of Löyly are public figures and active environmentalists – Antero Vartia is a parliament member in the Finnish Green League political party, Jasper Pääkkönen is a well-known actor and a passionate fly fisherman. In what ways are the founders' values present within the complex? 

Both Antero and Jasper are actively involved in all operations. Their values, ideas, and thoughts are considered in each decision. In the restaurant, we favour local ingredients and sustainably harvested fish.

  Löyly Restaurant.

Löyly Restaurant.

  Löyly Restaurant.

Löyly Restaurant.

Löyly organises terrace yoga classes during the summer. Löyly also offers OHOY Swim’s sustainable swimsuits made out of plastic collected from the sea for rent or purchase. What else do you have planned for your conscious clientele? 

We aim to be active and innovative. We are always interested in co-operating with companies that represent similar values, such as OHOY Swim. Next, we will present a craft beer that is made in co-operation with fly fishermen. A portion of sales will go to the river protection fund.