Designers of Budapest based Hello Wood built a huge christmas tree made of 365 sledges in front of the Palace of Arts at the riverbank of the Danube. It is an exceptional piece of art and architecture marking the Christmas period. 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. Christmas is coming. Lights are flashing in the streets, people are carrying big red and green boxes, bright plastic snowflakes are hanging in the hall of shopping malls. Big companies send out their messengers to take presents to everybody, from the youngest to the oldest, supposing that some chocolate bars, candies or a funny t-shirt can cheer them up.
Hungarian designers of Hello Wood, known for their social awareness and tasteful approach, rethought the idea of Christmas present, and put it in the right context. They built a huge Christmas tree made of 365 sledges, which will be given to children two weeks after Christmas. “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 about the installation.
The Christmas tree was built in a week. Visitors can step in and have a look at the construction from the inside. The base is made of steel, it weights 4,5 tons, so the construction is perfectly 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 light some: if you step inside, it feels like you are in the middle of a huge snowflake. “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. It is not by chance that they co-operated with Palace Of Arts in creating the installation. One of the goals of the Palace of Arts is to work together with young and creative designers and architects. The installation of Hello Wood is more than just a nice piece of young creativity, because thanks to Hungarian Telekom, the sledges will be given to the inhabitants of the SOS Children’s Village.