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The reinvention of a Nordic tradition, Karlshamns Kallbadhus.

Updated: Aug 28, 2019


Hello dear readers, in today's article I want to present to you one of the best architectural projectS I've ever seen. Karlshamns Kallbadhus is an amazing bathhouse situated on the coastline of southern Sweden, more precisely in Karlshamn. Thanks to its design, this bathhouse offers a new experience of the tradition cold bath. If you would like to learn more about how this classic Nordic ritual has been reinventED, you've found the right article.


The Nordic Sauna is an important part of their custom. The sweat room ( sauna ) is a place to relax with friends to improve the physical and mental health thanks to the improvement of the blood flow system. Usually find in the bath house, the sweat room is the place for the people to warm themselves before entering to the cold water system When the heating begins to feel uncomfortable, it is customary to jump into a cold source of water. After chilling down from the first bath, one goes back into the hot room and begins the cycle again.


Kallbadhus, which translate as “the cold bathhouse” is a project that saw the day thanks to the local organization Kallbadhusets Vänner (Friends of the Bathhouse), local private sponsors and the municipality in order to offer to the town its first bathhouse. The company whitearkitekter was the one to materialize the project.


The project represent the classic symbol of Swedish cultural heritage reinterpreted with a modern twist, thanks to the design process that was put in place, "the curiosity of this cold bathhouse lies in the fact that it is so far from the traditional romantic designed cold baths you can come." said the architect Sven Gustafsson. The design process was established in order to offer a fresh taste to every person visiting

Two beams work as the structure for a small bridge linking visitors to the entrance of the bathhouse from the beach. The entrance doors are the only element in the design reminding the one of a classic cold bathhouse


Façade of Karlshamns Kallbadhus

The façade of the angled cubes that compose the house is design in a dark wood in order to merge the building with the surrounding cliffs. The wood is treated with a grey-pigmented oil that will eventually give way to the wood’s own natural grey patina to show.






With regard to the interior, the only common space ( which is the living room ) is design with an untreated wood to create a sense of warmth and softness when visitors are indoors. This design process accentuates the desire to create a relaxing and comforting atmosphere.



Terrace of Karlshamns Kallbadhus

Divided in half, the bathhouse is constitute of a woman sauna and a men sauna on each side of the building. The saunas are located near the stairs for an easy access into the cool water below, adjoining terraces are built by each side. Those sun terraces are designed to receive as much sun exposure as possible while simultaneously offering protection from the wind.



In order to maximize the dramatic view of the bay, Karlshamns Kallbadhus is built three meters above sea level to face a free and open horizon of the beach promenade and to create a feeling of floating. The living room include by glass-to-ceiling glass and sliding doors leading to the terrace, this constituent allows the visitors to enjoy the breathtaking view from different angles of the bathhouse.


View of Karlshamns Kallbadhus

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