Hungarian designers Hello Wood have built an 11-meter Christmas tree made of 365 sledges in front of the Palace of Arts at the riverbank of the Danube in Budapest.
“It is an exceptional piece of art and architecture marking the Christmas period.” says Hello Wood. “After the holiday season all the sledges will be given to the kids living in the homes of SOS Children’s Village thanks to Hungarian Telekom.”
Known for their social awareness Hello Wood rethought the idea of Christmas present. “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.” says Andras Huszar, architect of Hello Wood.
The Christmas tree was built in a week. Visitors can step in the structure and look at the construction from the inside. The base, weighing 4.5 tons, is made of steel so the construction is safe from the heavy winds of winter. The four stems of the installation hold 325 kilograms each.
“First, the carpenters of Hello Wood made the 10,5 meters tall wooden frame, which was brought to the scene, where it was put together with the help of a crane and the use of welding techniques. Then came the alpinists of Hello Wood, who were working on the installation for four consecutive days, fixing the sledges on the wooden frame while hanging down from the top of the tree. Although the installation is pretty heavy, it looks lightsome: if you step inside, it feels like you are in the middle of a huge snowflake.”
Maxim Bakos, one of the founders of Hello Wood, originally wanted to create a forest made of sledges, then came the idea to create a tree instead of a forest. “We were thinking a lot about what the secret of an original Christmas decoration is. The sledges were the good choice, because they are symbolizing Christmas, but free from the commercial Christmas clichés and the general bad taste that comes with them.” says David Raday, creative leader of Hello Wood, one of the originators of the concept.
Hello Wood is best known for its flagship event, a one week long art camp curated by founder Peter Pozsar every summer.
Concept: David Raday, Andras Huszar, Peter Pozsar, Maxim Bakos
Architectural plan: Andras Huszar, Peter Pozsar, Adam Fogarassy
Design: Benjamin Szilagyi
Statics: Gabor Csefalvay
Realisation: Hello Wood
Lights: Tamas Kiraly, Gabor Agocs (Philips Hungary)
Partner: Gabor Zoboki (ZDA)
Photos & video: Daniel Domolky