About Archimedes Banya
Archimedes Banya is a remarkable blend of ‘past and present’, where ancient traditions of Greek laconica, Turkish hammam, German thermen, Russian banya combine with science and technology to create an experience like no other. Detoxing in perfectly heated rooms, plunging into an ice-cold pool, enjoying a breathtaking view on a sun-lit deck, conversing over a delicious meal – you can have it all in a quintessentially San Francisco style.
Our mission is to bring the ancient culture and the health benefits of community bathing activities to the level of Hi-Tech era, as a single alternative to working out in gyms and socializing in bars. We wish for every American city (LA, NY, DC, etc) to have a banya, to revitalize the body, relax the mind, meet old friends and make new ones.
A business, as much as an individual, demonstrates a certain perspective and a philosophy. It can aspire to the general good of the local community using knowledge from international sources. Its success can be measured in part by the contributions to the individual lives it has helped. ARCHIMEDES BANYA’s philosophy combines a constantly evolving up-to-date facility development with implementation of new cultural ideas. The BANYA meets the needs of our visitors, by providing a great steam, massage, food, and relaxation facility. ARCHIMEDES BANYA plays a vital role for our community by providing a setting where people are able to meet and enjoy becoming healthier and feeling better. We believe that the diversity of cultures involved in our facility enhances the social aspect and enriches entertainment life of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Archimedes’ Unknown Discovery
Archimedes of Syracuse (287 BCE – 211 BCE) is generally regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians and scientists of all times. He has many results to his credit, including ones in philosophy, mathematics and physics, astronomy and engineering. Among his inventions are “Archimedes claw”, “Death ray” weapons, principle of levers, buoyancy and hydrostatics laws, calculus, etc., and he is known as the “father of mathematical physics.” We, at Archimedes Banya, are proud to bring attention to one of the discoveries that has been unfairly forgotten in the list of his credits. We assert the following:
The best ideas arise when you are relaxed in a hot bath.
Here is the story: Hiero, a king of Syracuse at that time, had ordered a gold crown. He suspected that the crown was not made of pure gold but also silver; however, he could not prove this. He told Archimedes of his suspicion. One day Archimedes was taking a hot bath. He realized that the amount of water that overflowed the tub was equal to the volume of his body. At the realization, he jumped out of the bathtub and ran out on to the streets of Syracuse completely naked shouting Eureka, Eureka (Greek for “I have found it!”). This idea allowed him to determine the density of the crown in his famous work “The Floating Bodies” and to prove that the goldsmith was not honest.
We are confident that the great discovery of that day was the influence of hot bathing on Archimedes’ thinking. We are expanding his observation and willing to demonstrate that steam bathing is an even more efficient way to lead to discoveries.
In the summer of 1970, Mikhail Brodsky, at that time a junior mathematics student at Moscow State University, went to Western Siberia to make some extra money by logging trees cut during the winter on the Konda River. There he was introduced to Siberian steam bathing in a small banya and fell in love with it. He started to visit and study all banyas he could find, and became known as “Archimedes” in the oldest and most famous Moscow banya “Sanduny” for his ability to help its personnel solve different problems.
In the Summer of 1974, Mikhail, now a graduate student and still needing to make extra money, went to the Kamchatka Peninsula on the Pacific Coast of Russia to build a swimming pool for local communist party bureaucrats. Working conditions and the weather there were so harsh that he survived only due to the daily use of natural radon hot springs. He fell in love with natural springs and started to go to all possible destinations from Iceland to Ethiopia, from Japan to Germany, and everywhere in North America to experience new ones.
In the summer of 1998, Dr. Brodsky, then a research professor in the UC Berkeley Statistics Department, applied for the position of Chairman of Department of Mathematics at San Francisco State University. He did not get it; however the rejection led him to a decision to do something really valuable for people. The choice was evident: a public banya in San Francisco. He presented the plan to a group of banya lovers at “Frogs”, a public sauna in Fairfax. The idea was considered a joke by his relatives and friends, and as Mikhail’s insanity by the Russian speaking community.
In summer of 1999, Mikhail, still a research at UC Berkeley, and Reinhard Imhof, founded Banya 2000 LLC together with 2 friends. They bought a lot near the former Hunters Point Shipyard and planned to build the banya in 2000. Their very ambitious plan turned into a 12 year journey of development and construction. The lot location provided incredible views of the city and bay. During these years, having made numerous trips to the location, Mikhail never regretted the time and money spent on the project even at times when the project looked dead.
On December 31, 2011, Mikhail Brodsky, the President of Lincoln University (a position he continues to hold today), his partners and the construction team completed and opened Archimedes Banya for the people of the Bay Area and its guests. It became real due to Mikhail’s love for banyas and spas and his determination. He would not have been able to do it without the help and trust of his friends and partners, among them Reinhard Imholf from Switzerland; Gary Varum originally from Moldova; Alexander Generalov, Eugene Trilesnik, and Alex Roshal from Russia; Sam Kwong from Hong Kong; Vadim Puyandaev from Israel and originally from Kazakhstan; and many others from Mexico, Germany, Israel, China, Korea, Algeria, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Georgia, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Finland, Poland, Nepal, Turkmenistan, Serbia, Ireland, and the United States.
At Archimedes Banya, we know that details are crucial. The state-of-art facility features heated floors and benches, sophisticated ventilation and dehumidification equipment, hi-tech temperature and humidity controls, saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzis and pools: all engineered to bring you the best banya experience possible. We work hard to provide a perfect place both for calm relaxation and breathtaking fun of dramatic temperature contrasts. All rooms, including spa treatment rooms are finished with artistic tile works and original murals specially developed for Archimedes by internationally known artist Vadim Puyandaev.
Heated to 170 – 190 F with just enough humidity (less than 30%) to soothe your respiratory system, two Russian Saunas (parilki) are the most unique and important places of our banya complex. The center of each sauna is the huge 22,000 lb stove covered by handmade ceramic tiles (izraztsy) from Russia. The size of the stove and the special features of the tiles allow the stove heat to be soft and pleasant for your body. The special high temperature cameras for light steam cooking are heated independently from the stove and filled with rocks from Finland and known for producing negative ions. Sixteen-foot high ceiling allows seating benches on different heights that give gradually changing temperature and satisfying different customers tastes. Constant circulation of fresh hot air triggers profuse sweating and thus eliminates the impurities and toxins that cannot be removed by a regular shower or a bath. Together with venik platza it provides an ultimate invigorating and detoxifying method.
Turkish Hammam Steam Room
With its almost hundred percent humidity and mild (below 140 F) temperature, it is a perfect place to calm your senses and conceal from the stresses of the outside world. Invigorating warmth and peaceful, an almost dream-like state of relaxation is created in this kind of a Turkish Hammam by heated benches and aromatized steam. It increases blood flow to the skin that brings nutrients to its surface thus rehydrating it and making it look fresh and radiant. For an even greater result, the seam room experience can be followed by procedures of the Hammam body wash, massage, and scrub on heated benches outside, in our magnificent washing area.
Finnish Dry Sauna
Dry (humidity below 5%) and hot (220 F and above) air of this sauna was used for centuries to recover from physical activities. Comforting aroma of heated wood (California cedar) and the thermal exposure relieves the strain in muscles and joint stiffness. Hot dry air also induces sweating which results in cleaner pores and therefore cleaner skin and complexion.
Cold Water Plunge
A source of excitement for those who value the adventurous part of Russian Banya. Washing the heat of the sauna in the ice-cold water is quite literally breathtaking. It also is a great exercise for the whole cardiovascular system and a key to almost euphoric emotional state.
Warm Water Pools and Jacuzzis
An intermezzo between sauna sessions, our warm water swimming pool and Jacuzzis are family-friendly, refreshing and fun.
Our bar mezzanine is a great place for intermediate between sauna visits. There you can get drinks, food, talk to friends and watch TV.
Our roof offers breathtaking views of San Francisco, Oakland and the East Bay, the Bay Bridge, and Mount Diablo. We are blessed to live in the climate that allows use of the decks through the whole year.
Quiet Relaxation Room
This room offers leather armchairs extendable to a full bed. You’ll find this an excellent place to have a nap or to quietly watch TV.
Hourly rentals of private rooms are available for events. Reservations are required. Click here for details.
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