Architects Bigert & Bergstrom recently unveiled Solar Egg, an egg-shaped wood-burning sauna that can seat up to 8 people. The project is part of an urban redevelopment effort lead by developer Riksbyggen in the northernmost city in Sweden called Kiruna. Standing 16 feet (5m) tall, the eye-catching egg is comprised of a pine wood interior and highly reflective gold plated steel panels that reflect the environment surrounding the sauna. In the center rests a heart-shaped sauna stove cast from iron. From Bigert & Bergstrom:
In the arctic climate of Lapland the sauna occupies a key position, as a room for warmth and reflection. B&B have taken up this tradition and developed a sculptural symbol that prompts thoughts of rebirth and an incubator that nurtures conversation and exchanges of ideas. The project is a continuation of the artist’s strategy to incorporate the climate into the experience of the artwork which was initiated with the Climate Chambers in 1994.
When not in use, Solar Egg can be broken down into 69 separate components which can be reassembled elsewhere, rendering the entire sauna completely mobile. You can learn more about Solar Egg here. (via Contemporist)
Gazing up, the first thing you notice when viewing the 33-foot tall cabin, The 7th Room, is its base, an aluminum covering featuring black and white images of the pine trees that surround the structure. Used as camouflage, this exterior panel immerses the treetop cabin into its environment, blurring the boundaries between the building and forest. Designed by architecture firm Snøhetta, the structure is also intended to bring visitors closer to nature, built with a suspended net at its center, and several floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for multiple viewpoints of the Aurora Borealis overhead.
The 7th Room is one of seven cabins available through northern Sweden’s Treehotel. You can view the other six cabins that compose the alternative hotel, like The Mirror Cube, on their website. (via Designboom)
Across the backdrop of an expansive retro-Scandinavian landscape, Swedish illustrator Simon Stålenhag has spent the last few years imagining a world of science fiction inhabited by roaming mech robots, dinosaurs, and other technological innovations plopped right onto the Swedish countryside. The digitally painted images spread far and wide across the internet over the last few years, capturing the imagination of legions of fantasy and sci-fi fans who clamoured for comic books and even a feature film. For now, we’ll have to make do with old-fashioned art books.
Stålenhag and Free League Publishing just announced a Kickstarter project for two new books featuring Stålenhag’s dystopian vision of the future that will pair illustrations with short stories written in English. You can explore many more illustrations on his website (just start scrolling), and some are available as individual prints.
Tucked away in a quiet forest near the Lule River in Harads, Sweden is Treehotel, a themed hotel park consisting of tree-houses designed by some of Scandinavia’s leading architects that was just awarded the 2011 Swedish Grand Tourism Prize. There are currently 24 rooms planned, with six now available for booking. Some of them, including the Mirrorcube and the Birdsnest have made the rounds on blogs extensively the past few months, but I’m really enjoying the fine details of the UFO room. The sleek outer surface and lighting makes me giddily nostalgic for the days of E.T. and Flight of Navigator, and what’s not to like about planetary pillows and constellation comforters? A stay will run you about $600/night for two adults. (via ck/ck)
This summer artists Joakim Kaminsky and Maria Poll went deep inside the forests of Medelpad in northern Sweden to create this uncanny installation entitled Clear Cut using a mirror-coated fabric.
However eternal it may seem this is not a natural forest. Like 90% of the forests in Sweden it is used for forestry consequently being continuously grown and chopped down in a 60 years life cycle.
Joakim and Maria wanted to connect these trees to time. They wanted the installation to visualize a memory of earlier generations of pine trees that had stood here and forecast the clear cut that will soon replace them. Perhaps the mirrors could absorb the light, colors and smells of this place and save them for the future?
It really looks almost as if forest has been severed in half, the treetops hovering above the bottoms. See more of the installation here.
I found this on a new blog called Toildrops, which from glancing at just the home page could be a new favorite.
Is Dr. Seuss still alive, hiding out in Sweden, working as an urban planner? Not quite. The puckelball pitch made of artificial turf is a design concept by artist Johan Strom, who created this field in Malmö, Sweden as a metaphor for life:
“Many live under the belief that life is a fair playing field, that both pitch halves are just as big and the goal always has at least one cross. But ultimately the ball never bounces exactly where you want it to and the pitch is both bumpy and uneven.”
The rolling landscape of the field is meant to inspire imaginative play and to encourage fair competition between skilled and unskilled players, young and old, boys and girls. It was nominated in the Making Space 2010 competition that gives prizes to the best architectural and designed spaces for children. Every city in the world should be lucky enough to have a field like this. (via playscapes)