Not only was Löyly in Helsinki named one of the World’s 100 Greatest Places by Time Magazine in 2018, but it has also won countless awards and accolades for its unique design, including the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award and the IOC IAKS Award Silver.
The first building in Finland to ever be fully certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Löyly was designed by Avanto architects and fashioned from more than 4000 planks of precisely cut heat-treated pine. The building’s low and angular folded envelope-like wooden exterior cleverly conceals a second, more simple structure that houses all of Löyly’s leisure and sauna spaces.
Established in 2004 after Ville Hara and Anu Puustinen won a competition to design the funeral Chapel of St. Lawrence in Vantaa, Finland, which is set within an area of national cultural importance, the work of Avanto is featured in many architecture publications internationally. The practice’s name avanto literally means a hole cut in the ice for winter swimming, and it is the intense experience of taking a dip in ice cold water which is the core of Avanto’s philosophy, with Hara and Puustinen believing that encountering good architecture should always be powerful.
Löyly’s owner and co-founder Jasper Pääkkönen is also Finland’s most internationally-recognised actor, as well as an avid fly fisherman, a fish activist and a fly-fishing ambassador for Patagonia.
In recent years, Pääkkönen's international film roles – including a breakthrough role in Spike Lee’s Oscar-winning movie BlacKkKlansman and his role in the hit TV series Vikings – have attracted more media attention to help with his nature and conservation work and fuel his drive towards healthier rivers and fisheries.