However, for the majority of the world’s population, a private sauna is still a luxury that not everyone can afford. So it’s strange that this luxury object is often found in the cellar, somehow shut off from the rest of the living area. Working with the Vienna-based design team EOOS, Duravit has thought about how to take the sauna out of its dismal cellar existence and into the bathing and living area. The result is an innovative sauna concept – Inipi.
The name says it all: Inipi means nothing more than “they sweat”.
Inipi is a term from the language of the Lakota Indians and refers to the “sweat tents” of the original inhabitants of North America that were the source of inspiration for EOOS. However, visually, the innovative sauna module looks nothing like an archaic tent – Inipi is light and modern. Thanks to its ingenious layout, the cabin is compact enough to fit in a bathroom or living area whilst still offering sauna users plenty of space. There is absolutely no feeling of being closed in: the fully glazed front not only gives Inipi an unusual transparency but also an exceptionally stylish look. Modern sauna design that does not have to hide away in the cellar.
- The sauna module measures just 2350 x 1170 mm with a height of 2220 mm. The compact version has only a width of 1800 mm.
The transparent glass surfaces create a visual sense of peace and clarity.
A simple rectangle made of wood and glass: with its mini- malist design, the mere appearance of the sauna module communicates a visual sense of calm and clarity to the user. Inside, the cabin features a minimalist design with a characteristic rear wall with horizontal louvres that, like the floor, sitting and lying decks, are made of light aspen wood.
The Inipi story: the ritual sweating took place in a tent heated with hot stones.
The construction and use of the original Indian ‘sauna’ that was the inspiration for Inipi followed strict rituals: the tent covered with blankets and cloths symbolised the earth; the fire six footsteps away represented the sun. A “keeper of the fire” carried heated stones strewn with herbs into the tent; these were used to raise the temperature needed for sweating. Before the Inipi users entered the tent, they removed their clothes and also lay down their sacrificial offerings. The four traditional sessions were dedicated to thanksgiving, prayer, acknowledgement and recognition.
- A truly “magical” stone: the Inipi remote control with its round design is comfortable to hold.
The “stone” turns out to be a handy remote control.
A sauna session in the modern variant of the Inipi also starts with a “stone”. In direct reference to the archaic heat source, the smooth object that feels pleasant to the touch quickly reveals itself as a handy remote control. Waterproof and heat-resistant, it is used to control all sauna functions: temperature, air humidity, vaporisation, coloured light and sound can all be set and adjusted from here and, as a particularly practical feature, preferred combinations can be stored as user profiles. As an alternative to the remote control, a second control unit with an identical display is located on the outside of the sauna, concealed behind a flap.