Egg Shaped Sauna
The town of Kiruna in Northern Sweden is currently undergoing a radical transformation, which involves a gigantic move for the whole town. This is so that the mining company LKAB can extract more of the iron seam that cuts diagonally downwards beneath the town.
Architects Bigert & Bergström has built a golden, egg-shaped sauna for the people of Kiruna after damage caused by decades of iron ore mining resulted in the relocation of the entire Swedish town.
The Swedish artist duo was commissioned to design a commemorative social sculpture for the town after residents voiced fears of losing community spirit after their relocation.
The whole town is being shifted several kilometres eastward into a masterplan developed by White Arkitekter, which will allow mining to continue for a further 20 years.
The design resulted in a five-metre-high by four-metre-wide golden sauna as a meeting place for residents. The Solar Egg is comprised of 69 separate pieces of gold-plated stainless-steel sheets, which come together to form the multifaceted oval.
The egg’s interior has been formed out of wood, with the wall panels and floor decking made out of pine and the bench of aspen. In the centre of the egg stand the wood-heated, heart-shaped sauna stove made out of iron and stone.
Holding up to eight people at a time, the sauna is heated by a heart-shaped wood-burning stove, and can reach temperatures of up to 85°C.
The Solar Egg will remain at its current location at Luossabacken in Kiruna until September, before it goes on tour to a number of other locations in the Swedish Arctic.
Photography by Jean-Baptiste Béranger