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A colourful day for the Gustafs team

Selecting the right hue of green with Gert Wingårdh.

November 2011 marked the arrival of a new architectural and cultural landmark in Jönköping, Sweden. The Spira Culture Centre is situated on a newly created peninsula and reflected on the waters of Lake Munksjön. It was designed by one of Sweden’s most prominent designers, Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor, who specified Gustafs panels for a large proportion of the building’s interior.

GERT WINGÅRDH

A far-reaching cooperation

Spira is a striking building. When the setting sun cascades through the building’s semi-transparent orange and white glass façade, it sends a warm glow across the interiors, welcoming audiences to evenings of entertainment and discovery, within the walls of a tranquil, modern building.

Over the years Gustafs have developed a strong relationship with Wingårdhs, and at the core of the relationship is collaboration and trust; something we believe provides the best platform for inspiration and innovation.

The team made regular visits to Wingardhs’ offices in Gothenburg right from the start of the project, to brainstorm ideas and approaches. We sat down with Ove Andersson, Project Manager at Gustafs, to talk about his most vivid memory from working on Spira Culture Centre:

GRANNY SMITH HUE

The Apple

Spira has four different performing arts venues. The 860 seater world-class concert hall is clad in an elegant American maple, and all surfaces in the lobby and other locations are adorned with white pigmented pine. The theatre however, is awash with colour.

In the world of theatre, the ‘Green Room’ is usually hidden away backstage – as the waiting room and lounge for performers to relax before and after the show – but at Spira Culture Centre the colour surrounds the auditorium.

Ove Andersson remembers a particularly colourful day, “Gert Wigårdh knew that Spira needed a green theatre, but exactly what hue of green it needed required some careful thought, especially when you consider the sheer amount of green that would be enveloping the space.”

The green colour

Of all the colours on the spectrum, the human-eye is most sensitive to green – probably because of its abundance and significance in our evolutionary journey, and its wavelength – and can distinguish more different shades of green than any other. This makes deciding upon the perfect green all the more challenging.

“Presented with a shortlist of 15 or 16 stained colour proposals on his desk, it was when Wingårdh glanced at an apple sitting on the windowsill that the ‘aha- moment’ came and he exclaimed “this is the green colour we are looking for!”. From there on, we all knew exactly what we were working towards”

Ove Andersson, Gustafs
Theatre with green stained wood panels
Concert hall stage view with maple veneered acoustic panels
THE FOYER

Communication is the key

Andersson highlights how a supplier can often assume the role of negotiator when engaging with the various site teams, architects and stakeholders of a project, and it’s a role he thoroughly embraces.

“We work within a millimetre tolerance, and once building work is underway, it’s not uncommon for drawings to differ from reality. Therefore, communication is key when it comes to manufacturing and installation.”

He continues, “A great deal of the success of the Spira project stems from the skills of our installers. Almost completely devoid of right angles, the installation was very complex. Our team stepped up to the challenge and expertly delivered – it’s one of the projects I’m the most proud of in my career at Gustafs!”

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