Haeckels has built a free and sustainable beachside sauna that could make Margate a key wellness destination
Spotted: British seaside town Margate has a long history of sea bathing. In the Victorian era, people flocked to use the wood-burning saunas placed on the beach. Today, the skincare brand Haeckels is aiming to recreate the look and feel of these Victorian “bathing machines.”
Haeckels’ bathing machine was built with the help of a crowdfunding campaign and a team of local craftspeople, who each contributed specific skills. The bathing machine is constructed out of wooden planks and has oak wheels attached to a steel frame, allowing it to be transported down the beach. It also has a retractable waxed cloth awning and steps that double up as a door.
Inside the machine is a wood-burning sauna, which is free to use, although patrons are encouraged to make donations through Patreon. The machine is also available for group hire and personal treatments. Haeckels’ founder, Dom Bridges, told Dezeen that the bathing machine will “force communion, bring everyone together, force everyone to sit close and discuss, no phones, no social media, just a seat in a sauna and a sprint to the cold water.”
Bridges also noted that the inspiration for the bathing machine was to give people a reason to spend more time outside during the colder winter months.
Innovations that provide community amenities are growing particularly popular. At Springwise, we have seen innovations that bring amenities such as independent magazines to news deserts, and a community project that teaches sustainable building techniques.