Greg is a very talented architect and builder. I met Greg while working at Choice Wood Company last year. When I first started he was working construction out in the field, I had heard from others that he was also a great designer and built schools in Africa. When the architecture department got busy he came back into HQ to be on the design/computer end of things. Turns out he's a pretty cool dude.

Anyways, he and now wife, Kadie, had bought a 19' 1979 Leisure Island Pontoon boat with the idea to strip it down and build a sauna in time for their August wedding in northern Minnesota (which I also photographed). Greg was wondering if I would be interested in helping out with the build and photographing the process.  Shit yeah! 

Greg and Kadie had secured a gravel pad in their neighbors driveway off the back alley where they parked the trailer and pontoons.  Greg and his other architect friend, Tyler, conceived a wedge shaped design clad in black corrugated metal. True 3x3 cedar frames form an exterior structural system. The frames step down and in, creating the roof slope and also cause the walls to angle slightly in. Over the course of the summer I stopped by several times to build and take photos from the tubes up.  See the process pics below.

Inside, tongue and groove cedar siding and cedar benches.  It smells fantastic.  The stove is a small propane tank tipped with the top cut off for the door, welded up by Greg's brother in-law. The other neat feature is a trap door in the floor straight into the cool, cool water. Fill up a bucket of cold water when your steam runs out, or escape the heat and slip right into the water.  Up front, there is a cedar storage bin for life vests, paddles, etc.  

Dubbed the Löyly, which is the Finnish word for the steam produced when pouring water on the hot rocks of a sauna, Greg and Tyler submitted it for an AIA Honor Award (American Institute of Architects for all you non architecture people).  From their submittal:  

The Löyly is a vehicle for escape and adventure, for a curated interaction with the natural world. The pinnacle of this experience is stepping through a portal in the floor, leaving behind a roasting hot, lively, enclosed space and submerging into icy cold water, finally surfacing to the calm of a quite lake under an expanse of brilliant late night stars.

Anyways, I was super stoked to be a part of the project. Perhaps the best part was the group effort, Greg tapped his architecture and construction network to bring people together and really create something unique.  I can't wait to see what Greg dreams up (and builds!) next.