More than an example of DIY design, the SUNDAY / DIMANCHE PORTABLE SAUNA was created by artist Carissa Carman for the purpose of staging invited performative site-specific actions and combines aspects of craft, architecture, and sculpture.

Following a series of temporary installations this summer, including the Concordia University Fine Arts 10th Annual Graduating Students Exhibition (French site here) at the FOFA Gallery, Montreal (ending July 6th), the sauna is seeking a permanent home.

The sauna can be yours!
Click here for technical specifications and sale information.

Project description and photos below.
Download press release as pdf

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Inspired by Montreal’s vernacular architecture, the sauna exterior resembles the service kiosks used throughout the city for parking lot attendants: a miniature house with curved A-frame roof and red aluminum corrugated siding. Inside, however, an aromatic cedar clad room seats two or 3 people comfortably, and details such as a refurbished cedar door and window and an antique Percival Quebec two-burner stove evoke a rustic retreat.

Designed and built with sustainable and reclaimed materials, the fully functional, wood-powered sauna weighs under 1000 lbs and was constructed directly on a single-axle 4 x 8 trailer base using adaptations of guidelines on Kalle Hoffman’s sauna site and the Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds and Tiny Houses.  It is constructed to travel, and meant to arrive in new towns, parks, parking lots, unused corners of urban space, or museums, instigating collaborations and prompting transformation, revitalization, and renewal wherever it goes.

The sauna features handcrafted furnishings intended to trigger an element of surprise and discovery in unexpected places. Quality construction elements sourced locally in Montreal include a Foyer Universel firesafe two-walled chimney and Jasztex Blue Jeanious insulation made from recycled blue jean fibers. Thoughtful accessories are provided to accommodate users’ practical needs, including a crate for storing wood, small lanterns, an ash bucket, and an outside towel rack.  Resourcefulness, ethical construction, and a pioneering spirit inform the design, as does creating an atmosphere of welcome, everyday ritual, and care.  This charming and functional structure will create an oasis of temporary leisure throughout Montreal in summer 2012.


Carissa Carman, who completed her MFA in Fibres at Concordia University, is interested in the intersection of architecture, sustainable materials, technical mastery, performative objects, public space and the potential for seasonal/responsive projects.  She recently Walked Backwards in 20 days in the Havana Biennial 2012 receiving international coverage and media attention throughout Cuba.

SUNDAY/DIMANCHE Portable Sauna was made possible with generous support from Concordia University Sustainability Action Fund.

Photo credits: Performance views – Javiera Ovalle Sazie; FOFA installation views: Guy L’Heuruex


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