Yoku SH by Effe: a place of total well-being designed by Marco Williams Fagioli

Yoku SH, designed by Marco Williams Fagioli for Effe, combines the sauna, Turkish bath and shower in a single spa space, so restoring the original experience of these ancient practices. The system is designed to be installed both in private settings and public structures devoted to wellness. The name and inspiration come from a branch of Japanese natural medicine known as ato shinrin-yoku, or “woodland bathing”, a practice based on the principle that deep immersion in nature has surprising beneficial health effects. The vertical wooden architectural elements of the system evoke the feeling of being  surrounded by trees, giving the heat bath an intimate and spontaneous sense of well-being. Yoku SH is made with high-performance natural wood structural panels to which different finishes are applied: wooden slats in the sauna and stoneware tiles in the Turkish bath. All the materials used are environmentally friendly and free from plastic. The three finishes are in top quality wood (heat-treated aspen, heat-treated solid wood and canaletto walnut) and are not produced by deforestation. Large transparent openings in smoked tempered glass, set back from the front elevation, help to create a sophisticated, suffused setting and relate the interior to the surrounding space. Its fine furnishing power is heightened in the model in which the façade is transformed into a large open bookcase, with shelves in oxidized steel sheet, to house objects, books and towels. Produced in the measures 342 x 170 x 214 h, the system is available in three versions: Yoku D/SH with wooden door on the sauna side, Yoku G/SH with glass door on both sides (sauna and hammam), Yoku S/SH with glass door and shelving.

At a glance

What is it?
Yoku SH combines a sauna, Turkish bath and shower in a spa, which can be installed in a home setting or public spaces devoted to wellness.
What is the design concept?
Yoku SH offers a warm and welcoming spa space, featuring a restrained, harmonious and austere design. The project is inspired by an ancient practice of Japanese natural medicine, deep immersion in nature amid woodland, credited with surprising health benefits.
How is it made?
Yoku SH is made from high-performance natural wood structural panels to which are applied the finishes: natural wooden slats in the sauna and stoneware tiles for the Turkish bath. The large glass apertures are in glass smoked and tempered, the stove casing and the shelves of the bookcase in the S/SH version are in natural sheet metal etched by hand. All the materials used are environmentally friendly; there are no plastic elements and the first-choice wood and does not involve deforestation. 
How is it produced and where?
Yoku SH is produced starting from the supporting structure, to which are added the technical components (heat, steam, digital panels and lighting system). Finally the finishing elements and interior furnishings are applied. The whole production cycle takes place at the Effe plant based in Cesena, Romagna.
How is it manufactured?
Effe is a company that designs and manufactures products handcrafted on an industrial scale by combining advanced technologies with refined design. One of its strong points is the excellence of the technological solutions that ensure certified quality products with very low maintenance and energy savings. The company’s great experience and craft traditions enable it to lavish the utmost care on the details and customize its products. Each is made and pre-assembled in the factory for further quality and aesthetic control, and then installed directly in the customer’s chosen space.
What makes it special?
A distinctive feature of the system are the large smoked glass windows set in the front elevation. In the Yoku S/SH version, the facade is transformed into an open “bookcase” with shelving in oxidized sheet steel, a natural filter that holds objects, books and towels to create customization and connection with the setting in which the spa is installed. The integration of the heat source into the low bench of the sauna is also innovative, perfecting the traditional technological element and enhancing the formal balance of the interiors, where the alternating rhythm of vertical and horizontal elements heightens the relaxing effect of the experience.
What is it like?
Welcoming, elegant and harmonious.
In the designer’s own words
The vertical architectural elements in natural wood of the Yoku SH system suggest immersion  amid woodland trees, creating an elegant feeling of intimacy during the heat bath.