The Solar Egg, Luossabacken, Kiruna, Sweden

Project details
Architect: Bigert & Bergstrom
Town: Luossabacken, Kiruna, Sweden
Developer: Riksbyggen Client: Kiruna's Residents

On first glance, this striking gold-plated egg-shaped structure could be mistaken for a mirage; disrupting the sparse winter landscape that surrounds the Swedish city of Kiruna; the Solar Egg is, in fact, a public sauna.

Designed as a unique urban redevelopment project and social sculture by developer Riksbyggen in collaboration with architects Bigert & Bergstrom, the Solar Egg is a chamber sauna intended to serve the people of Kiruna. Open to the public, the project is designed to encourage the local community to integrate and boost the city’s residents overall sense of wellbeing.

The exterior is clad in gold-plated steel panels which reflect and refract the landscape and establish a natural topography with the icy surroundings, which in the words of the architects “evokes associations with the complexity spanned by today’s discussion about climate and sustainable community development.”

The interior has been constructed using traditional materials including soft pine wood panelling, with benches made with aspen arranged around a heart-shaped, iron cast and stone, wood burning sauna stove.

The structure is modular and can be broken down into 69 components allowing for it be erected in numerous locations. The project was on display at the Swedish Design Moves Paris, a festival celebrating Swedish Design, from 15th of November to the 10th December.

Images by Jean-Baptiste Béranger  courtesy of Bigert & Bergstrom