The Aureate Spruce


Client: City of Spruce Grove

Location: Spruce Grove, AB, Canada

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $60,000

Project Team


Paul Feser

City of Spruce Grove


Casto Solano


The Aureate Spruce, 450x300x300cm, Stainless Steel & Water. The design brief was for a gateway sculpture to Spruce Grove's new Sport and Recreation Facility; a piece to link themes of kinesis, sport, health and ecology.


The goals for this artwork were to create a piece that would serve as an iconic entryway piece to the Facility. It was important that the artwork incorporate Alberta's rich and diverse ecology into the project's overall themes of sustainable urban development, community and participation. As such, Casto began to work with the idea for a spruce tree, represented in such a way as to appear to be in constant growth and movement. Its forms reference the golden ratio, curving upwards in a flowing spiral. Forged in stainless steel, it captures and redirects the light; shimmering golden, green, red and blue; mirroring the colours and textures of the natural world in its surrounds. Specialised water distribution systems were integrated into the piece, and in hot weather it can be configured to produce clouds of water mist, cooling those who shelter nearby and creating rainbows of colour in the air. As such, the piece unites the movement of nature and our own, vital kinesis. It welcomes visitors to the center with an organic, luminous lustre; perfectly integrated within both architecture and landscape.


The creation of this piece required close collaboration between Casto and the project's commissioners and work-groups. The sculpture was produced in Casto's workshops using cutting edge techniques, during which time we were in close contact so as to ensure that the sculpture's morphologies would fit perfectly into the space. Likewise, the artwork's anchoring systems were carefully coordinated with the team in Spruce Grove so as to enable a quick and easy installation on site. It was a pleasure working with them, and we would like to extend our thanks to all involved for the quality of their work.