Project Description



On 11.11.11 Jönköping, Sweden, received a new landmark. Culture house SPIRA is situated on a newly created peninsula and it is reflected on the waters of Lake Munksjön. The exterior is white and red with large glazed sections. The building was designed by one of Sweden’s most prominent designers, Wingårdh Architects. Gustafs panels cover large areas of the interiors and the new culture house has received many words of praise for its acoustics and unique design.

The setting sunlight seems to ignite and warm up the welcoming Gustafs wooden paneling inside the glazed partitions. Somehow the sensation of space and height create an inviting atmosphere of tranquility. The lobby and all four halls are clad in Gustafs panels and Wingårdhs architects chose to work with colour to provide the visitors with a lasting impressive acquaintance.

The Concert hall, which seats 860, is clad in American maple while the Theatre hall is delicately clad in green stained oak. All the surfaces in the lobby and other locations are mounted with white pigmented pine. When Wingårdhs Architects were in the design stages of the new culture house they contacted Gustafs.
Ove Andersson and his colleague Lasse Lindberg frequently visited Wingårdhs in Gothenburg to discuss solutions and ideas during the early stages of the project development.

”We have a very good relationship with Wingårdhs and we know each other well. We have their respect and they know they can rely on us. It is strength and an advantage to be in the process at an early stage which enables us to offer our competence and experience.”

The Apple The green colour in the theatre hall is a chapter on its own. Gert Wigårdh wanted green and it was just a question of finding the right nuance. ”We made 15 or 16 stained colour proposals before we arrived at the final solution. Gert produced an apple which was on his window sill for the day and said “this is the green colour we are looking for!” and that was it.”
Wingårdhs design proposal won, Peab were appointed the general contractors and the responsibility of all interior paneling was granted to Gustafs. We often find ourselves in the role of negotiators when we sit and listen to all the various players; builder, purchasers, architects and external consultants. We enjoy this role. When the building work is in progress there are many situations which require a practical solution. It is not uncommon the drawings differ from reality. We at Gustafs are used to working with a millimeter tolerance when we manufacture and install our product. Regular meetings are therefore imperative to collaborate with other disciplines.

A great deal of the success of the SPIRA project stems from our installers´ skills. The Theatre and Concert halls are made up of panels almost devoid of right angles and all installation fittings were carried out on site. Our men can be very proud of their work. SIPRA had become another of their flagships

”My intention for SPIRA was that it should embrace the culture of Småland (the southern province of Sweden in which Spira is located). Wood and glass are therefore the main ingredients. I have always liked wooden clad houses; wooden panels contribute to a warm inner climate, both within the building and those who happen to be there. Our first choice was pine tree but to avoid any feeling of a sauna we added a white pigment. The green pigmented panels in the theatre hall are in oak, while the Concert hall is in natural maple.
Jönköping is a lot about John Bauer (a well known Swedish painter and illustrator) and in so much there was a need to make a connection to him. Bauer´s essence is depicted by green and therefore it seemed an appropriate choice of colour for the theatre hall. First we tried a moss green tone but it seemed too militaristic. So the choice went to apple green instead. Actors were at first a little concerned that the color would compete with what happens on stage, but as we know, when the curtain goes up, the theatre lights are dimmed!”

– Gert Wingårdh


The rumour of how great the acoustics are at the Spira Concert hall in Jönköping is spreading rapidly among musicians around the world. Several have already announced their wish to record their next record here. Composer and in-house Head of orchestra Helle Solberg, is delighted that people are beginning to awaken to all the possibilities at Spira Concert Hall.

When Helle started at her job amidst the building operations at Spira she was involved in several site meetings where helmet and safety shoes were mandatory. Fine technical details involving the builders and installers were discussed. There were also several fruitful meetings with Jan–Inge Gustafsson, one of Sweden´s foremost acousticians. The concert hall is becoming a popular venue for recording and several international musicians have already announced their interest to come to us for that purpose.

Recently the Japanese piano trio Fujita visited Jönköping just to get a feel for the concert hall. They were to record in Gothenburg but decide to move the recording instead to Spira. In August the world famous guitarist Celia Linde will arrive for the same purpose and if everything goes according to plan, violin virtuoso August Dumay, will come to Spira with the same aim. He has cancelled his recordings in Europe and chosen Spira after having conducted a Mozart concert here earlier. “Directly after a rehearsal he came to me and exclaimed his delight over the world class acoustics “said Helle Solberg.
The audiences too are very pleased with the rooms special acoustics she says reassuringly. ”They are so pleased not only for the acoustics but also for the wooden interior. It is so positive to experience the natural atmosphere in there. The performers and conductors that have come here have all shared the same satisfaction. They quite simply lavish Spira and our concert hall with praise.”

Architect : Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor

Acoustician: Akustikon

Read More:

Inside Wingårdhs