Sculptor and designer Harri Markkula designed the Hot Cube sauna in 1997. The first Hot Cube was presented at the "Between the Bridges" environmental art exhibition in Jämsä, Central Finland, in the summer of 1998. This was the first time the public had the opportunity to take a sauna in the work.
Hot Cube is a minimalist sculpture in which the artist wanted to take a stand on Finnish sauna culture. The form and use of the cottage sauna is, in a way, taken for granted by Finns. Hot Cube was meant to break and shake this perception. Everything 'unnecessary' was stripped away from the sauna's appearance, leaving only the basic mathematical shape; the cube.
When tarred and constructed entirely of wood, it was intimately connected to nature. The Hot Cube was born from the ancient Greek elements: air, water, earth and fire. When placed on water, rays of light are reflected into the windowless cube through the slits in the slatted floor. Living rays of light, fire, heat, tar smoke and blissfully soft baths create an unparalleled experience.
The sauna's artistic and technical innovations also made it highly functional. The steam is delightfully soft and long. City magazine awarded the Hot Cube as Turku's best sauna in the 2011 Turku Capital of Culture year, when the Hot Cube was on public display at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum in Aurajoki.
Since then, Hot Cube has been featured in several exhibitions and publications, including Suomenlinna and Saunasaari, and twice in the Helsinki Design Week programme. I featured Hot Cube in issue 1/99 of Architectural Magazine. In addition, the public has had the opportunity to take a sauna in the Hot Cube at fairs such as the Private Home Fair and Sauna Festival.
If you would like to know more about the Hot Cube, or if you would like to purchase one, please contact the Villa Högbo staff, e-mail: villa.högbo@saaristokodit.fi or call +358 44 055 2253