With 24-hour nights in the winter and constant sunlight in the summer, Kiruna is one very special place to live in. In addition to being Sweden’s northernmost city, Kiruna is also famous for its scientific institutions, and the unusual ICEHOTEL that is constructed with ice every winter in the nearby village of Jukkasjärvi. As the site of extensive iron ore mining, a number of areas in Kiruna are now sinking which has led to entire neighbourhoods having to be moved. As part of this major reconstruction project, Swedish property cooperative Riksbyggen has commissioned artist duo Bigert & Bergström to create an installation for the city that would symbolise this new chapter in its history, but also become a catalyst for public conversation. The result is a gleaming five-meter-tall sculpture made of gold-plated steel, which houses the most archetypical of Scandinavian interiors: a sauna.
The sculpture, called Solar Egg, is meant to symbolise both the sun through its golden colour but also the concept of birth and beginning. For some religions, the world came out of an egg, so having this mysterious egg-shaped object installed on the hills overlooking Kiruna must have a very profound impression on locals and visitors alike. The structure itself is made of 69 different pieces, and can be dismantled easily enabling it to be moved to different parts of the city. Inside the sauna, the heart shaped wood-fired burner adds yet another layer of meaning to the installation. Encapsulating Swedish creativity, inspiration and design, SOLAR EGG will be exhibited at the Swedish Institute in Paris towards the end of the year, as part of the Swedish Design Moves initiative.
Solar Egg by Bigert & Bergström for Riksbyggen.