Glimmering in solitude among the snow-laden landscape, stands a distinctive public sauna erected by artistic duo mats bigert and lars bergström. titled the solar egg, the installation stands at five meters high and four meters wide; the smooth and multi-faceted envelope or ‘shell’ wrapped in gold-plated stainless steel. a total of 69 separate pieces make up the egg’s exterior, reflecting glimpses of the swedish town of luossabacken in kiruna in the distance.
the project was commissioned by swedish developer riksbyggen to commemorate the growth of kiruna’s urban landscape which involves the relocation of entire city districts in response to ground subsidence caused by decades of iron ore mining. bigert & bergström’s response saw an oval-shaped sauna being created as a symbol of rebirth and as an homage to kiruna’s iron ore fields. a delicately-framed staircase reveals the entrance, an opening that appears to have cracked open to invite guests inside. the multi-faceted character is continued inside but instead, finished in pine wood. at the center, heat is emitted by a heart-shaped wood-fired burner.
all images © jean-baptiste béranger