Looking for the state of the art in sustainable Christmas trees? If so, you'll love Hello Wood's incredible Christmas trees currently on display in London, Manchester, and Budapest. The creative design team from Budapest built the three large "Charity Trees" that will be dismantled and repurposed after the holiday season, benefitting local causes.
The Hello Wood design team collaborated with London-based visual artists Creatmosphere to create an 11-meter tall Christmas tree made out of 365 illuminated wooden sleds, each representing a day of the year. Installed on London’s Granary Square at King’s Cross, the large display was named Let it Snow in reference to a time before the effects of climate change made snow a rarity; when people were able to go sledding on snowy London hills this time of year.
The tree will be dismantled after the holidays and 100 sleds will be donated to local schools in the area and the rest will be available for purchase with 10 percent of the profits going to charity. András Huszár, co-founding architect of Hello Wood, says the idea behind the Let it Snow tree is fundamentally about finding ways to combine sustainability and generosity, “We wanted to create a temporary installation, which is not only spectacular, but with primary elements that 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.”
Hello Wood’s tree in Manchester is also an imposing 11-meters-tall and made completely out of wood. Located in Sadler’s Yard, the tree results from a collaboration between the architects and The Pilcrow Project, a local initiative that encourages mixing traditional building skills with contemporary design. Like its London counterpart, the Manchester tree will be dismantled after the holidays and all of the building materials will be recycled to build the Pilcrow Pub’s workshop space.
According to David Raday, co-founder of Hello Wood, the Manchester tree serves to bring the community together through working with the Pilcrow Project, “It was an inspiring challenge to design and build a Christmas installation that is not only visually attractive and comprehensible for the wider public, but that also connects to a complex architectural and cultural project by re-using every element of the installation for the Pilcrow Pub project. We hope that this tree will become a symbol for the power of community-building during the Christmas holidays, and later on in its new form when used in the pub.”
The team’s Budapest tree, the 16-meter-tall Charity Tree, is made out of 10,000 pieces of firewood and weighs a staggering 40 tons. Visitors can enter the inside of the tree and take the staircase 4 meters up to get a beautiful view of the city through the tree’s windows that double as decorations from the outside.
Located in Budapest’s Erzsébet Square, the tree was built to symbolize the importance of the community and social awareness. As such, all of the firewood used to build the tree will be given to families in need in January.
According to Peter Pozsar, co-founder of Hello Wood, the Charity Trees represent the importance of sustainability in today’s architectural designs, no matter what time of year. “The role of architecture changed a lot in the last few years. It has become more important to create works that are for everybody, not only the exclusive 1 percent of the population. Hello Wood represents this socially responsive architecture.”
Lead photo by Balázs Turós