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Berlin-based studio Raumlabor has created a sauna building called ‘goteborg bathing culture’ in frihamnen, the industrial harbor of Gothenburg in Sweden. The area is gradually losing its industrial character and is steadily becoming a new and central part of the city, open to be discovered and adopted by the citizens. Its present state of transitions, the traces of its former uses, and the huge undefined spaces make the harbor very attractive for the establishment and implementation of different kinds of cultural activities. Apart from the polluted land and water, the heritage of this industrial port is a series of fascinating functional objects, buildings and the spontaneous and fragile nature that somehow exists between the asphalt, concrete, and water.
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Raumlabor has imagined a new use and a new type of experience to link the water, the land and the neighborhood with the construction of an unevenly-shaped sauna building made out of corrugated aluminum sheets. establishing bathing in this rough and hostile environment is, above all, a way to change the perception of it: creating intimate spaces, new leisure experiences and the opportunity for communication between different groups of people. since water pollution does not allow, for the moment, direct bathing activities in the docks, the establishment of ‘bathing culture’ activities will generate a form of prediction for the future of this particular setting.
With the creation of ‘goteborg bathing culture’, Raumlabor aims to generate a place that brings back the swedish culture of social gatherings in baths. They want people to use the sauna complex ‘not only as a place for relaxation but also as a space to meet new people, spend time together and discuss life.’