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The WelPod by Circle Wellness Studios

Vancouver design studio reinvents the sauna for the modern world

The WelPod is an immersive and multi-sensory room designed to promote physical and emotional well-being. It is a modern reinvention of the sauna with many new layers of functionality and purpose. Expanding beyond the qualities of a typical sauna, the WelPod is designed for meditation, hot yoga, stretching, deep relaxation, and rehabilitation.

The WelPod provides undistracted sensory experiences courtesy of preprogrammed heat, sound, light, and airflow, allowing users to sequence events in the room based on a particular mood, activity, or desired outcome. A user-friendly touch switch allows users to create on-the-fly adjustments as desired as well.

The driving force behind The WelPod’s soothing environment lies in the innovative selection and use of natural, therapeutic materials in its construction. Glowing salt brick walls enclose a clean, open space while infusing a plethora of therapeutic benefits. In addition to storing heat and increasing efficiency, unrefined salt cleans the air, relieves skin problems, cleanses the respiratory system and emits negative ions, which elevates mood. A custom-built rail system is used to mount the salt bricks without adhesive or mortar, allowing for easy maintenance and dismantling.

Unlike a typical sauna, the WelPod requires no preheating and remains warm at all times. This is possible because of the efficient building envelope, interior salt brick walls that act as a thermal mass, and the intelligent control system. The energy-efficient design consumes considerably less power than a traditional sauna, swimming pool, or hot tub. Additionally, the natural radiant heat emanating from the salt walls provides the most natural path to elevating body temperature. In addition to its heating benefits, the natural salt composition of the walls contributes to easy maintenance by neutralizing odours and cleaning the air with its antifungal and antibacterial qualities.

The WelPod is available as a stand-alone structure that can be placed into any outdoor setting, or as an interior room that can be built into any floor plan.

Interior WelPod — Located in open air near the centre of a private waterfront residence in Tofino BC, this interior WelPod is situated within close proximity to the master bedroom and the refreshing water of the Pacific Ocean. The WelPod is especially enjoyed by clients here for morning meditation, hot yoga before and after surfing, as well as sauna sessions in colder weather.

Exterior WelPod — The stand-alone model is prefabricated in Vancouver and can be easily placed into any outdoor setting. The footprint is roughly 100 sq ft and the exterior finish material can be customized to complement its surroundings.

North American market segments for The WelPod include single family homes, multi-family developments, spas, resorts, clinics, retreat centres, and more.

Project data

The WelPod
Location: Interior—Tofino BC/Exterior—Vancouver, BC
Client: Private
Designers/Project managers/Contractors: Circle Wellness Studios
Photographers: Darcy Turenne, Martin Knowles, Paul Hennessey
Dimensions – 10’x10′

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