Dezeen Magazine

Six alternative Christmas trees to get you in the festive spirit

As it's Christmas Eve, we've rounded up some of our favourite takes on the traditional Christmas tree, including one upside-down and one encased in ice.


Fighting Fire with Ice Cream by Alex Chinneck

This year, British artist Alex Chinneck seemingly froze a Christmas tree inside a huge ice cube in London's Kings Cross.

The seven-metre-tall installation is situated between the colourful fountains outside Central Saint Martins' Granary Square campus, and is made from a giant resin block covered in melted wax.

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Tate Britain Christmas tree by Shirazeh Houshiary

London's Tate Britain celebrated the start of the festive season by hanging a Christmas tree upside down from the ceiling of its Millbank building.

Created by artist Shirazeh Houshiary, the piece focuses on the pine tree's natural qualities, such as texture and smell, but also features roots covered in gold leaf.

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Claridge's Christmas Tree by Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson

Instead of a simple Christmas tree, Apple duo Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson worked alongside British set designer Michael Howells to recreate a "magical" forest in the lobby of Claridge's hotel in London this year.

The installation includes four-metre-high light boxes that glow with black and white photographs. Real silver birch trees are placed in front of the backdrop in small mounds of artificial snow, while larger green pine trees stand in the foreground.

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Alternative Christmas Tree Sculpture by SOM

Skidmore Owings & Merrill's Christmas offering for this year came in the form of a latticed pavilion installed in the courtyard of a building designed by the late Jørn Utzon in Aalborg, Denmark.

In lieu of a tree, the firm used Peter Lassen's modular GRID system – a Danish design icon – to create the latticed form that is illuminated with brightly coloured lights.

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Christmas Installation by Hello Wood

Hungarian studio Hello Wood used 365 wooden sledges to construct this Christmas tree in Budapest in 2013, with the help of a large crane.

After Christmas they were all donated to a local children's charity.

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Charity Tree by Hello Wood

Hello Wood also created a Budapest Christmas tree in 2014. The team designed a conical timber frame with 15,000 kilograms of sawn logs stacked perpendicular to its surface.

The 11-metre-high Christmas tree was installed in a square in central Budapest, and had a doorway in the back to allow members of the public to climb inside.

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