On the western border of Kiruna, Sweden, the state-owned mining company, LKAB, has been extracting iron ore from the Kirunavaara mountains for over a decade. But the long-term mining has caused fissures that are creeping closer to the city center of Kiruna.
Now, LKAB — which also founded the Arctic town in 1900 — is funding Kiruna’s relocation nearly two miles east, so that it can continue mining in the mountains.
Moving an entire town is no easy task and requires lengthy discussions with officials, the mining company, and residents. Local architects from Bigert & Bergström have designed one place where those talks can take place: a golden, egg-shaped sauna.
Completed in late April, the sauna is a place for locals and officials to unwind and discuss questions and concerns about Kiruna’s relocation, the firm told Business Insider.
Check it out below.
... and the benches from aspen wood. In the center, there's a wood-powered stove made from iron and stone. The temperature inside can range from 167 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit (75 to 85 degrees Celsius).
The space, which fits up to eight people, is meant to serve as a local meeting place to discuss Kiruna's relocation plan. 'The egg shape seeks to symbolise rebirth and new opportunities at the start of Kiruna's urban transformation,' the architects said.
To avoid being swallowed by the mine, Kiruna will need to move nearly two miles east. The Stockholm-based firm White Architects will be in charge of moving the town, where approximately 23,000 people live. Below is a rendering of what the new city center may look like:
'It's a dystopian choice,' Krister Lindstedt, a partner at White Architects, told The Guardian. 'Either the mine must stop digging, creating mass unemployment, or the city has to move -- or else face certain destruction. It's an existential predicament.'
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