Moscow roof sauna

Who wouldn’t want to partake in this sauna?

© Courtesy of Artplay

Moscow roof sauna opening at Artplay

by Nathan Gray at 19/04/2013 18:56

A summer day in the banya may be redundant, as Moscow in the summer sometimes feels like a giant banya itself, if not quite as aromatic and relaxing.

Still, from April 27, Artplay will be playing host to the Steamer, a mini-banya on the rooftop of building 9, next to the railroad tracks from Kursky Station.

The location has inspired the design, said Oleg Nikolayev, the owner and operator of the banya. The break area on one side of the small building is designed like a coupe cabin in a long-distance Russian train, and the building itself resembles a steam locomotive’s engine. Wi-fi, that staple of modern life, is available, too.

The interior is almost completely made of wood, which is coated to protect the surface from humidity. The banya has three sections: the break area; the entrance hall, complete with a shower for when you leave the sauna itself; and the sauna, where temperatures can reach as high as 110 degrees.

Nikolayev said, however, that Russian saunas tend to have a lower temperature than their Finnish counterparts, due to their more humid environment – about 80 degrees. He recommended not spending more than 10 minutes in the sauna room, and will supply an hourglass to indicate the time to the users. Scented oils, including orange, mint and cedar, can be added to the water poured on the coals.

A 90-minute session will be 2,000 rubles, and the facility has a maximum capacity of six. Be sure to bring your own towels, though slippers are available should you need them. There are no separate changing facilities, but the break room can be pressed into service.

Reservations can be made through the Facebook group Steamer @ Artplay. For the time being, access to the roof is limited, but once Artplay has completed additional facilities – including a cafe and rooftop deck next to the banya – it will be fully accessible, and you will be able to mingle with a larger crowd once you’re done steaming.



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