Floating Sauna Derby | Licht Architecture

2021 Tasmanian Architecture Awards

2021 Tasmanian Architecture Awards: People's Choice

Floating Sauna Derby | Licht Architecture

small project architecture

On a lake in a small North East Tasmanian town there floats a sauna. Taking cues from Derby’s contrasting history of boom and bust (then fortunately boom again), two black and white gable sheds sit quietly against the dramatic backdrop of quarry cliffs and rainforest. The pontoon is connected to the shore by a small pedestrian bridge. One pavilion is a change room, the second is the sauna. The concept was influenced by the fixed parameters of the pontoon and glazing size. The design concept focused on the sensory experience and progression of privacy and containment.

The material choice reflects its function. The dark recessive burnt larch offers solitude and privacy for the sauna. In contrast, a light-filled changing pavilion casts subtle silhouettes of the users against the Ampelite cladding. The buildings float together in the landscape, offering a unique opportunity for isolation and relaxation.

Floating Sauna Derby | Licht Architecture | Photographer: Anjie Blair

Client perspective:
How does the design benefit the way you live/work/play/operate/educate/other?

“Apart from the obvious aesthetics created by the design of the floating sauna to sit peacefully in the environment, and the subtle play on hot/cold and black/white, the actual layout of the sauna has a huge impact on the running of the business. The arrangement of the functional areas (bike storage, change room, shelter, sauna and cold plunge ladder) allows for a natural and seamless experience.”


Practice team

Jason Licht | Project Architect


Nigel Reeves | Builder

PFG Group | Pontoon Float

Anjie Blair | Photographer

National Partners

Principal Partner
National Corporate Partners
National Supporting Partners
National Supporting Partners
National Insurance Partner
National Media Partner
Preferred Photography Partner
State Partners

This form is now closed.