Riksbyggen is commemorating the start of Kiruna’s urban transformation project by opening SOLAR EGG, a public sauna art installation by prizewinning artistic duo Bigert & Bergström, to the city and its inhabitants.
Jean-Baptiste Béranger
By Julia Zorthian
May 18, 2017

Residents of Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, routinely go to great lengths to stay warm. But their new golden sauna serves a higher purpose. In a change that has unsettled some locals, the town’s city center is quite literally being moved two miles east–a relocation necessitated by the town’s unstable foundation.

To ease the transition, a Swedish developer commissioned art duo Bigert & Bergstrom to build a community meeting spot where people could gather to discuss the changes. The result: Solar Egg, a golden egg-shaped sauna that aims to promote “thoughts of rebirth.” Of course, inside it still functions like an actual sauna; a wood burner keeps the temperature between 167°F and 185°F.

This appears in the May 29, 2017 issue of TIME.

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