The Dino-Sauna was a temporary sauna installed on the old Moda Fotografica site for the weekend of Sep 28-30, 2012. 

Built by Fabricio Fernandes, (an architect from Brazil living in Christchurch) this unique structure was open to the public on the Saturday and Sunday evening. It had been tested by locals on the Friday night, who then supervised the weekend sessions.

The Dino-sauna blended elements of the public baths found in many old-world cultures with the contemporary energy of transitional Christchurch, creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In the interests of good taste and good humour appropriate clothing was essential and participants had to be 16 years or older. Dino-Sauna happened with the support of the Lyttelton Fire Service.

Huge thanks are due to Cactus Clothing, Insulpro, and RC Canvas who donated materials and advice, to the landowners and to Kerry Donnely, Rich Humphreys, Ciaran Fox, Ryan Reynolds, Trent Hiles, Carmel Courntenay, Simon, Ra, Phil and Billy, Tain and their crew of local kids.

The Dino Sauna Report!

(The name for the project came from the large dinosaur sculpture on the vacant site)

Location: Cnr London and Sumner Streets, Lyttelton. Former Modafotografica site.
Dates: 27 – 30 September, 2012
GF Time: 35 hours
Key people: Fabricio Fernandes, Coralie Winn, Trent Hiles, Kerry Donnelly, Carmel Courtenay, Rich Humphreys, Ciaran Fox, Ra
Total cost of project: $1500 approx
Sponsorship: Canvas (Cactus), Insulation (Insulpro) and…? Armourguard (project checks at night)
Volunteers: 5
Media: The Bar Harbour News, The Press (front page no less!!)

This project was done as an experiment! Fabricio originally approached Gap Filler with the idea. I asked him to build the sauna before I would agree to do it on a gap site. I needed to see how it worked as the idea of people in a confined space, with fire made me nervous for safety reasons!!!

So Fabricio to his credit, built and designed a beautiful sauna. Given the clean air act in place in Christchurch, Lyttelton seemed like an ideal place to try it out. Also, because of the sense of community spirit, it appealed as the test ground.

About 2 months before the project launch, a number of Lyttelton locals who were involved with the Lyttelton Petanque Club project plus a few more, met at a restaurant to discuss getting involved in this project. Fabricio from that point on was in charge of the project and create a list of what he needed, asking people to contribute and assist.

The installation of the sauna happened on Thursday 27 September and took a couple of hours. It was then tested the following evening by some of the volunteers and local community. The two evenings that the sauna ran for the public saw in total about 60 people in total use the sauna for 40 minute sessions each time. It was thoroughly enjoyed by those that used it.

A risk management plan was in place for the project and it came off with no major problems.

The Dino Sauna did not have a lot of publicity and this was primarily because of the experimental nature of the project. Given there were quite a few unknowns, large numbers of people attending was not, in my view that wise. Now that more is known about how the sauna works and runs for the public, it could be better publicised in future if it were run again.

Fabricio is to be congratulated on such a well-designed and executed sauna. People were really impressed by it!
Coralie Winn, October 12, 2012