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Solar Egg, Bigert Bergström, Photo: Asaf Kliger

On Tour: Solar Egg by Bigert & Bergström

Bigert & Bergström designed their art installation for Kiruna to be heavily symbolic. The ovoid shape of the small structure represents the rebirth of the town, which must be moved five kilometres to the east as a consequence of decades-long iron-ore extraction. Inspired by the Arctic environment of Lapland and its impressive light conditions, the installation’s shell consists of gold-coloured stainless steel that reflects the surrounding landscape. The multifaceted shell creates a fragmented image of landscape, town and mine alike. Inside, the sauna is clad with native pinewood. On aspen benches, eight people can gather around a stove in the shape of an anatomically correct heart.

The Solar Egg project is a continuation of Bigert and Bergström’s artistic examination of the subject of climate and the relationship between people and nature. For the 1998 World Exposition in Lisbon, the duo designed a climate chamber. In 2015, they covered Sweden’s highest mountain with an insulative blanket. They have won several prizes for Solar Egg, such as the Red Dot Award and the German Design Award.

This international attention has led the client, the Riksbyggen housing corporation, to lend the Solar Egg around the world. The installation comprises 69 individual components and can be set up and taken down within a few days. The egg originally perched on the Luossavaara mountain outside Kiruna. In late summer 2017, it was transported to the villages of Abisko and Björkliden, which are located in the mountains of Lapland. From there, it set out on tour to Paris as part of the Swedish Design Moves Paris project. In 2018, Bigert & Bergström presented their Eye of the Storm exhibition in Stockholm, where the egg was displayed in the museum park. In June, with the Midnight Sun, the installation returned to Lapland, this time to the mining town of Gällivare, which like Kiruna is facing resettlement. Other stages on the Solar Egg journey were the Charlottenborg Exhibition Building in Copenhagen, the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, the beach in Rättvik and, finally, the Jukkasjärvi Icehotel in Sweden.

Further Information:

Projectmanagement: Futurniture

Construction and Installation: Hangmen AB, Lars Hässler

LED light technology and solar panels: Ljusdesign AB

Weld (oven): Zoltan Schnierer

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