Hello Wood creates festive treat in Budapest that will be dismantled into presents in 2014
Straddling the blurred boundaries of art and architecture is this festive 10.5m-high treat from Hello Wood. Planted in the plaza in front of the Palace of Arts in Budapest, the conical structure takes the form of a Christmas tree, constructed using 365 wooden sledges.
The architects behind this magical construction, Hello Wood, are a Hungarian practice who concentrate on design that can have a positive social impact. In this case, the Christmas tree is designed to bring joy to people who pass by and through it, exploring its wooden fronds and examining how the sledges fit together.
This social engagement continues two weeks after Christmas, when the tree will be dismantled and each of the 365 sledges given away to children living in homes of the SOS Children’s Village, thanks to Hungarian Telekom.
Andras Huszar of Hello Wood explains: “We wanted to create a temporary installation, which is not only spectacular, but its main elements remain usable so they can be distributed among kids. For us, this is the point of social awareness: you don’t only show something, but at the same time you give something unique.”
In order to counteract the blustery winds and heavy snow showers of winter, the team installed a 4.5-tonne steel base connected to four stems, each of which is capable of holding 325kg. Hello Wood then spent four days installing the 365 sledges into a tree-like formation.
For inspiration, the team wanted to look beyond the glossy, commercialised aspects of the festive season as David Raday, creative leader of Hello Wood explains: “We were thinking a lot about what the secret of an original Christmas decoration is.
“The sledges were the good choice, because they are symbolising Christmas, but free from the commercial Christmas clichés and the general bad taste that comes with them.”
In the lead-up to Christmas and for two weeks following, the tree will be open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to enter the tree through a gap in its ‘branches’ to stand within. From this position one can look skywards to a star at the apex of the tree or examine the complex structure from up close.
The WAN AWARDS Wood in Architecture Award is now open, for further details, please click here.