SOLAR EGG: A Public Sauna for Locals to Meet

The town of Kiruna in Sweden’s Lapland is set to begin an urban transformation project with the help of developers Riksbyggen. To celebrate the occasion, artists Mats Bigert and Lars Bergström, of Bigert & Bergström, were commissioned to create a social structure where townspeople and visitors could meet and discuss the upcoming changes for the area. Their design? A faceted golden sauna known as SOLAR EGG.

SOLAR EGG takes inspiration from Kiruna’s Arctic climate, where it goes from 24-hour-a-day darkness in the winter to the opposite with the sun around the clock in summer. The duo utilized an egg shape for its symbolism of rebirth, as that’s what the community is doing with its citywide relocation due to its history of iron ore mining.

The egg spans five meters tall (approx. 16.5 feet) by four meters wide (approx. 13 feet) and features a gold-plated stainless steel shell that magically reflects the landscape round it. 69 pieces make up the structure, which can easily be taken down and moved to another location.

Saunas are a gathering place and the artists felt the people could gather and have discussions around the heart-shaped wood burning fire.

Photos by Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.