Gert Wingårdh (born 1951) is a man with a keen sense of details. With his natural philosopher’s mindset, he does not create standardised projects. Every project receives its own unique treatment and lives according to its own unique principles. This approach has earned Gert Wingårdh both awards and renown.
Many of his projects are inspired by nature, from his own 17th-century holiday cottage to large-scale hotels. The many different types of buildings by Gert Wingårdh illustrate the wide range of his architectural vision.
One shining example is the crown jewel of Vasaparken, Sven-Harry’s (art museum). A golden jewel case in the heart of Stockholm. The solid facade can be seen as protecting the fragile content inside. Works of art and people coming and going. The place is open to the public during the day and acts as a beacon of safety at night. There is always movement around the building as it is located in one of Stockholm’s most popular parks. Inside, the Dinesen plank floor is part of the experience and ensures a harmonious presentation of the art works and the bright Stockholm light.
Sven-Harry’s (art museum) is named after the building contractor Sven-Harry Karlsson, the founder of Folkhem Produktion AB. On the roof of the building is a separate museum, called Sven-Harry’s (home), which is a replica of his former home. The building presents Sven-Harry Karlsson’s private art collection to the public and offers daily guided tours.
We move farther out, beyond Stockholm’s city centre to Victoria Tower. With its 34 stories in steel and coloured glass, it is the tallest hotel in Scandinavia. An architectural vision in a rich, modern palette, where solid Douglas planks provide a natural element that adds authenticity to the foyer. With furnishings from Montana and Vitra and other leading manufacturers, this is a prestigious project. The hotel’s Skybar also features flooring made of Douglas planks.
From Gothenburg roots
But in fact, the story takes its beginning in Gothenburg. Gert Wingårdh graduated as an architect from Chalmers in 1975, and now, many years later, this is where we find Kuggen (the cog) in all its glory. An office building on campus, designed by its former student. Kuggen in Gothenburg is a colourful project. Conical, inspired by a cogwheel and bright red. The facade somewhat reminiscent of a layer cake constructed of triangles in multiple tiers. It is evident how Gert Wingårdh has played with light, form and material. Played with skills that he has acquired over the years.
Living and working together
Creativity is rarely a solitary activity, and Gert Wingårdh works closely together with his wife, Karin, who is also an architect at Wingårdhs.
Together with Karin, Gert Wingårdh has found time to renovate his own little 17th-century cottage. The cottage is located by Marstrand and is tailored to the Wingårdh family’s needs. Cosy and functional, it also challenges the eye and contains many natural elements. In order to let the architecture of the house present itself from the best side, a natural influx of light is preferable. The house has undergone renovation repeatedly to reach this point. Together, rock, light and wood produce a result that demonstrates how architecture is based on the interplay of multiple factors.
Allowing the organic to be reflected in the modern produces a sense of harmony. When all is said and done, the goal should be to create a sense of calm in one’s everyday surroundings. Whether this pertains to a wooden floor, a cup of tea or a huge cogwheel building.