Trend: Saunas and Social Connection

Week of June 18th, 2024

The heat is on: mobile sauna heralds a new breed of experimental hot boxesWallpaper
Emma O’Kelly delves into the evolving landscape of mobile sauna design in Germany, Norway, and the UK. These innovative design approaches are bringing this ancient tradition into the contemporary era. As a result, sauna is attracting new enthusiasts who are enticed by its combination of wellness, relaxation, and communal connections.

‘It lowers inhibition’: how saunas are challenging UK pubs as the place to meet– The Guardian
The rise of new sauna venues is transforming what was once a niche industry into a hub for creating innovative community spaces. In the UK, there is a burgeoning trend of mobile or permanent saunas popping up, particularly near the coast or lakeside. The region now boasts over 100 sauna establishments, with more than 30 newly established in the last six months. These British saunas are introducing unique offerings such as grief saunas modeled after Irish wakes, yoga sessions, life drawing classes, and inclusive spaces for transgender individuals or men’s circles. As traditional gathering spots like pubs and churches face decline, sauna operators are actively working to foster community connections and create welcoming environments for all.

Winter’s warm bath centers become social hubs in ice-covered NE China– Global Times
In China, bathhouses were usually for the less wealthy who didn’t have heating systems at home, so public bathing facilities emerged to serve a very real need. Today, however, there’s a rise in visits to public bathing venues as “great places for socializing and fortifying relationships.”

We tried the dreamy new social bathhouse in Bondi Junction– Time Out
A new Sydney, Australia bathhouse is being lauded as a “dreamy new social bathhouse” that is affordable. For just AUD$28 per week, members get unlimited access to ice baths, a steam room and several saunas that the writer said “seemed, at the outset, too good to be true,” yet concludes “the reality is even better than the concept.”

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