Christmas tree made
from sledges

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The 365 wooden sledges used to construct this Christmas tree in Budapest by Hungarian designers Hello Wood will be given to a local children's charity following the festive period (+ movie).

Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity

Hello Wood designed the 11-metre-tall structure for a site in front of the Palace of Arts in Budapest and spent one week assembling the wooden frame then fixing the sledges to it.

Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity

Two weeks after Christmas the tree will be disassembled and the sledges distributed to local children living in homes operated by SOS Children's Village, a charity that helps families care for their children and provides accommodation and support for orphaned and abandoned children around the world.

Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity

"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," explained Andras Huszar of Hello Wood. "For us, this is the point of social awareness: you don't only show something, but at the same time you give something unique."

Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity

A steel base weighing 4.5 tons anchors the wooden framework, which is made from sections that were part assembled off-site and lifted into place using a crane.

Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity

The sledges were then fixed to the frame by a team who used abseiling equipment to suspend themselves from the top of the tree as they worked their way around the conical structure.

Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity

"We were thinking a lot about what the secret of an original Christmas decoration is," David Raday of Hello Wood said. "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."

Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity

Visitors are able to step inside the installation and look up at the geometric arrangement of wooden struts, which creates a pattern that resembles the fractal form of a snowflake.

Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity

At night the sculpture is illuminated by spotlights positioned around its base that project different colours onto its surface.

Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity

Photography is by Daniel Dömölky.

Here's some more information from Hello Wood:


Hello Wood designers build christmas tree to sledge away

Inhabitants of SOS Children’s Village receive unique present

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.

Section one of Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity
Section one - click for larger image

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.

Section two of Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity
Section two - click for larger image

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 lightsome: if you step inside, it feels like you are in the middle of a huge snowflake.

Section three of Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity
Section three - click for larger image

Maxim Bakos, one of the founders of Hello Wood originally wanted to create a whole 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 symbolising 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.

Framework diagram of Christmas tree made from sledges that will be donated to children's charity
Framework diagram - click for larger image

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)