The Scandinavian countries have been gaining steam over the years as creative powerhouses. From the concept of Hygge to the design inspiration guaranteed to appear on your Pinterests boards, these frosty countries know how to stay warm without sacrificing style. Sweden’s latest architectural feat is no exception. The Solar Egg, by artists Bigert & Bergström, is a sauna, shaped like an egg and guaranteed to top your #birthdaybucketlist. It’s golden, glimmering outside and warm, toasty inside have an even more interesting story to tell beyond the unique look of it all.
The art installation and functioning sauna is situated at Luossabacken in Kiruna – Sweden’s Northernmost town meaning that winter brings 24 hour nights and summer brings all day sunlight. With a yearly average temperature hovering right around freezing, you’re probably warming up to the idea of trekking to this golden egg right about now.
Sunny Side Up Specs
The egg, a symbol of rebirth and an incubator that nurtures conversation and exchanges of ideas, was built to reflect just that. Made of multifaceted stainless golden mirror sheeting, the egg reflects all that surrounds it – the sky, landscape and town. The fragmented images produced mirror the complex discussion about the environment and sustainable city planning. The inside contains a traditional sauna, built from aspen and pine complete with a heart-shaped, wood burning stove.
Inspiring the Community to Gather
Beyond the fun and puns of this eggcellent creation lies a larger story. Kiruna, and Sweden as a whole, heavily rely on iron ore mining for the economy. This mining has occured since the late 19th century and is now having serious effects on the landscape and people who depend on it. Parts of the land are sinking, causing entire neighborhoods to be relocated. Due to this unsettled time for the Swedish inhabitants, property cooperative, Riksbyggen, called on duo Bigert & Bergström to create the Solar Egg to bring locals and visitors alike to gather to discuss Sweden’s present and future path. Bigert & Bergström sum the project up with “In the arctic climate of Lapland the sauna occupies a key position, as a room for warmth and reflection.”
Photography: Jean-Baptiste Béranger