Tropical Sauna Islands in Helsinki's Howling Winter Gales

The plan to build hot-water islands for Helsinki's heating, which would also double as hot paradises where Fins can escape the long, harsh Nordic winter.

    2021/07/16

NSFW    HELSINKI, FINLAND — An ambitious new project could soon be providing the very cold city of Helsinki with a sustainable source of heat, while also doubling as an attractive location for Fins to escape the long harsh Nordic winter. Here are the details:

New Atlas reports, citing architecture firm Carlo Ratti Associati, that Helsinki has named the Helsinki Hot Heart project as the winner of its Helsinki Energy Challenge.

If the project does go ahead, it will be built in the ocean next to the city and will consist of an archipelago of ten artificial islands built on top of huge water basins.

Each basin will measure 225 meters in diameter and hold up to ten million cubic meters of water.

Energy drawn from wind, sunlight and other renewable sources will power heat pumps that will heat water and pump it into the huge water basins.

The tanks will act like a big thermal battery, storing the hot water until it's pumped into the city's heat-distribution network, as required.

Additionally, thanks to all the heat being produced, four of the large islands will serve as recreational parks, with pools and tropical forests installed.

The idea is that these will be encased within a transparent dome and LED lighting, allowing locals to enjoy warm parks in the middle of winter.

The idea was inspired by the Finnish ideal that everyone has the right to relax and enjoy nature.

The designers of the system say it can be expanded to provide all of Helsinki's heating needs by the end of the decade, while producing zero carbon emissions.

The cost is expected to be ten percent lower than Helsinki's current heating costs.
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