The Common Sauna of Artena

The Arco Borghese, Artena, Italy


The Common Sauna of Artena was built in the village of Artena, Italy, in July 2019.

Sara Bissen and Stefano Serafini had the idea of everyone enjoying such a pleasure, socially, and for free. In fact, the sauna is considered an expensive spa luxury in many countries, including Italy.

Professor Marco Casagrande joined and directed the construction of the sauna during the “Designing a Home of Language” 2019 Biourbanism Summer School. Local and international heroes built it in an abandoned cellar in the heart of the ancient Artena in record time: Arch. Anu Mantsinen, Arch. Gabriele Mundula, Arch. Bas Oudenaarden, Arch. Emmaliisa Reinikainen, Arch. Uğur Sağlam, Arch. Ghassan Jansiz, Chi-Ling, Beju Dudali, Giampiero “Mazzetta” Talone, Augusto Angelini, Luciano Talone, and Rinaldo Riccitelli.

“No forced leadership or closed design was given, but an open-form possibility of constructive anarchy for the community to self-engage in a collective mission. The sauna grew along with the momentum of a sense of communicative action though collective work. It is a communicative construction, with no other common language than physical labor and collective mind.” – Marco Casagrande

La Sauna 2019 Biourbanism Artena, Italia by Béju Dudali


An Italian village rarely can offer a Finnish kiuas (stove) right away. Participants could enjoy the first sauna by adapting an old stove. However, smoke was an issue, especially because of the chimney. We planned to solve it later (sketch by Marco Casagrande) and, in fact, Giampiero “Mazzetta” Talone offered his strength to open a new exit for the smoke, while Luciano Talone helped building a new entrance door.

Drawing by Marco Casagrande, Casagrande Laboratory, Image courtesy of the Author

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic came and stopped every activity.


Marco De Sanctis is an expert in building adobe rocket stove mass heaters.

Marco De Sanctis, December 2020

He proposed to build a rocket stove inside the Common Sauna of Artena by using local soil with the help of volunteers. This will happen between December 27 and 31, 2020. The preparation has already started.


Rocket Stove and The Common Sauna of Artena 

Let’s say goodbye to 2020 in a proactive nd communitarian way by building future and having fun. Join us to learn how to build the famous #rocketstove mass heater in the historical center of #Artena December 27–31. We are going to build an amazing stove inside the comm sauna of Artena, which has been designed by Professor Marco Casagrande, European Prize for Architecture, during the 2019 Biourbanism Summer School. Teacher: Marco De Sanctis 
December 27 History of the rocket stove: a patent given to humanity. Economic benefits, energy efficiency, sustainability, and uses. Beginning of the  combustion unit construction. Guided tour of Artena.
December 28 Construction of the combustion unit.
December 29 Insulation of the combustion unit and support base.
December 30 Connect the exhaust pipe construction of the main body, and ignition! Concert: Francesco Fiacchi (bass) and Dario Talone (percussion).
December 31 Finish. Inauguration of the common stove and sauna. Greetings to us and the planet!
Details: (+39) 3771875125 or (+39) 3939426561
What to bring: work clothes with a change, raincoat, gloves, and a sack lunch.
Hours: Start of work h. 9:00. Lunch break h. 12:30. End of work h. 15:30.
COVID-19: The use of a KN95 or FFP3 mask and safe distancing are mandatory.