The bright and bold tree rises almost 46 feet high on Southbank’s waterfront. Designed by the group of artists, engineers and designers in Pirate Technics, the tree was created to represent the nations of the world that took part in this summer’s London Olympics. Rows and rows of remnant fabrics from different nations around the world made up the bark of the tree, totaling 80 different kinds in all.
The Baobab Tree was based on Africa’s oldest living specimen, which has come to symbolize community and strength. By layering fabrics from each culture next to each other, Pirate Technics is drawing a specific corollary about the global village that the world has become, showing how the textures and patterns from each culture can work together seamlessly to create something beautiful.
The tree is seated on the low river front plaza, and peaks up over 20 feet above the elevated roadway above. Aside from symbolizing unity, the recycled fabric tree was meant to act as a meeting place for members of the London community, and to inspire conversation between strangers visiting Southbank.
Over one million visitors came to the Baobab Tree sculpture this summer, effectively reaching Pirate Technic’s goal of bringing people together.
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat