DESIGN

You've Never Seen a Sauna Like This

This egg-shaped sauna not only looks good, it is also an important community-building tool. Designed by artists the sauna is a meeting spot for the local townspeople of Kiruna, Sweden.


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Swedish artist duo Bigert & Bergström have created an egg-shaped sculpture that also functions as a sauna. Commissioned by the Swedish tenant-owner association Riksbyggen Solar Egg serves a very important social function for the town of Kiruna.

Kiruna is Sweden’s most northern town and is currently experiencing a huge social and economic transformation. The city is famous for its iron mine, the mine has always been the biggest economic driver for the city, essentially being the reason for the town's existence.

In 2004, it was decided that the center of the city would have to be relocated to counter mining-related subsidence. Subsidence is the movement of the earth surface down towards sea level. Several new positions were proposed before the council decided to move the municipality eastwards. The move of the town started in 2014 and is gradually continuing to do so with a plan laid out that extends to 2100.

The sauna egg was developed as a place for the local community members to gather and discuss issues related to the move. The sauna can fit up to 8 people who sit around a heart-shaped fire that heats the orb. Sauna has long played an important role in Swedish society as a mode of meeting and sharing space together. The egg shape of the sauna hints at ideas of rebirth and hope while also mimicking the conditions of an incubator, it is hoped that inside the egg new ideas and connections can be formed. The egg is made from reflective gold panels with a cozy wooden interior.

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