What were the words the spoiled little girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory exclaimed upon seeing the geese with the golden eggs? "I want it! I want it now!" That's exactly what I thought when I laid eyes on photos of the Golden Solar Egg. This giant pop-up Solar Egg is as much of an art installation as a solar-powered sauna. Located (for now) in Kiruna, Sweden, travelers can book visits to the egg through Off the Map Travel through September 2017. After that, the egg will be whisked (get it?) away to different locations around Northern Sweden before heading to Paris in November.
Outfitted with solar panels to power its lights, the Solar Egg accommodates up to eight people and is warmed by a heart-shaped wood burning stove at its center. Standing five meters high and four meters wide, it has an exterior made of 69 gold-plated stainless-steel panels which reflect the city and surrounding countryside. The sauna was designed to be moved to different locations to offer varying views of the region.
The Solar Egg was created to commemorate the start of Kiruna’s urban transformation project. So why an egg? Designed by prize-winning artistic duo Mats Bigert and Lars Bergström of Sweden, the egg shape symbolizes rebirth and new opportunities in Kiruna. It's part of a project that involves the relocation of entire city districts in response to the ground sinking from decades of iron ore mining. The egg-shaped sauna symbolizes the sun as a catalyst for creativity, care, hope, and togetherness and is a long-standing tradition in Sweden.
Watch the Solar Egg in all its glory from start to finish in the video below.