Slingco has completed the first installation of a tensioned wire grid in Sweden. The main auditorium at Helsingborg Theatre now features Slingco’s CABLEnet tensioned wire grid system for safe and flexible access to the overstage/above auditorium roof space. The finished grid is 23m at its widest point and 9.5m deep, following the shape of the ceiling.

Helsingborg was the first town in Sweden to open a municipal theatre in 1921. Originally housed in a theatre built in 1877, its current building opened in 1976. Helsingborg Theatre is one of the leading producing and receiving houses in the country, and has a constant production schedule.

Architects Peder Lindbom and Torsten Nobling of Stockholm-based AIX Architects led a major refurbishment of the theatre. During the refurbishment, it was decided that the theatre required access to over-stage and front of house lighting and rigging positions in the roof. The client wanted to maintain the elliptical shape of the roof void with the CABLEnet, as it curves round to match the elegant shape of the auditorium.

“The CABLEnet has completely changed the way we work in terms of increased speed and efficiency during rigging and fit up,” says technical manager Bertil Donker. “It’s great to be able to walk safely all over the roof void, and we can locate lighting positions or rigging points wherever they are needed, rather than having to work around the previous restrictions.”

The CABLEnet system is created by weaving and tensioning high tensile steel cable within a frame, which is then hoisted to the required level in the theatre or concert hall to create a safe “virtual floor”®. Lighting, audio, AV technicians, and riggers can then work on this with complete confidence. Almost invisible from ground level, the system has the key benefit of casting no shadows from lighting rigs positioned above the grid.

Four crew members from Slingco installed the grid in just two weeks. They worked alongside the strip-out contractors, who were simultaneously removing the theatre’s old metal mesh walkways from the roof.

The Helsingborg project has proved such a success that Slingco is already working its second Swedish CABLEnet installation, at Stockholm University Dance Theatre, involving some of the same design team. This is scheduled to complete in the Spring.