Hot Box

A delightful little sauna with just enough room for two.

Hot Box

A delightful little sauna with just enough room for two.

After building a couple of cabins and an office, small-home builder Made by Hideaway has released a sauna. “It was the next natural step,” says designer and builder Rick Hill, “not only as a challenge, but to build something that brings considerable health benefits.”

Why a sauna? 

We recently made the full-time move to building bespoke small spaces that are efficient, conscious and beautiful. We started using a sauna ourselves, sneaking off while the kids had swimming lessons at the local pool. We started to notice an increase in energy, focus and improved sleep. It made sense to combine this interest and see what we could come up with.


What makes a good one? 

It is all about air quality, encouraging natural air circulation and finding that balance between fresh air flow and humidity. When you get it just right, it should feel like you never want to leave. It is 2.5 square metres and comfortably seats two – or three at a squeeze. It’s transportable and fits snugly into the average-sized Kiwi backyard.

Tell us a bit about the design and materials – how did you want it to feel?

The build was inspired by the humble Kiwi shed: clean lines and good honest materials that work efficiently. The monopitch roof creates an additional sense of space. The sauna interior is western red cedar, commonly used for its stability but equally as important for its amazing scent. Opaque insulated polycarbonate panels have been placed between cedar studs across the front to allow natural light to flood in, but also to provide a sense of privacy. The cold copper shower was a must, a shocking but invigorating part of hot-cold therapy!

What’s next for Made by Hideaway?

Our next project is a larger off-grid wood-fired sauna with a more communal vibe. We will also continue to develop Hideaway Huts, which locate our rentable off-grid cabins in beautiful and remote spots around the country.

Made by Hideaway



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