Lonely Planet Writer

Sweden's golden egg sauna is travelling to Paris this month

This year, residents of Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost town, were delighted to welcome a truly unique installation in the form of a gold-plated, stainless steel sauna shaped like an egg. And now this month, Parisians will get the chance to experience both Swedish design and sauna traditions, as the piece is set to take up residency in the City of Love for three weeks.

Solar Egg in Björkliden, 100 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden.
Solar Egg in Björkliden, 100 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. Image by Jean-Baptiste Béranger

Called Solar Egg, the 4×5 metre sauna was designed by artistic duo Bigert & Bergström in response to a commission by Riksbyggen. It can hold up to eight people at a time, with a heart-shaped wood-burning stove at its centre made out of iron and stone. The egg’s interior is formed out of wood, with wall panels and floor decking made from pine, and a bench made from aspen. The temperature inside varies between 75° and 85° Celsius, while the stainless golden mirror sheeting on the outside reflects the surrounding landscape and sky.

Having been invited to be part of the Visit Sweden’s Swedish Design Moves Paris initiative, Solar Egg will take up residency in the courtyard of the Swedish Institute in central Paris from 15 November to 10 December. Made in cooperation with the Swedish Institute of Paris, the purpose of the initiative is to draw attention to Swedish design, architecture and fashion in France. Swedish Designer Diana Orving has designed special kimonos for visitors to use at the exhibition.

The sauna is heated by a heart-shaped stove made of iron and stone.
The sauna is heated by a heart-shaped stove made of iron and stone. Image by Jean-Baptiste Béranger

“We believe that Solar Egg can raise awareness of Sweden as a design nation. Solar Egg is a good platform for stories about Swedish design and architecture that can be experienced in Sweden, where our sauna tradition is one example of our lifestyle close to nature,” said Michael Persson Gripkow, chief brand and communications officer at Visit Sweden. The Solar Egg was recently recognised with a Red Dot and German Design Award, and has been nominated in the London International Awards and the Swedish Design Prize.

Solar Egg will take up residency in the courtyard of the Swedish Institute in central Paris from 15 November to 10th December.
Solar Egg will take up residency in the courtyard of the Swedish Institute in central Paris from 15 November to 10th December. Image by Jean-Baptiste Béranger

More information on visiting Solar Egg in Paris is available at the Swedish Design Moves website.