Dezeen Magazine

Tree of Glass installation by Lee Broom

Lee Broom creates Christmas tree from 245 pendant lights inside The Shard

Lee Broom has collaborated with glassware brand Nude to create a 10-metre-tall Christmas tree made of 245 individual hand-blown glass pendant lights inside The Shard in London.

The Tree of Glass installation is designed as an architectural interpretation of the silhouette of a traditional Christmas tree. It is inspired by its setting in the triple-storey atrium of the Aqua Shard restaurant on the 31st floor of the Renzo Piano-designed skyscraper.

"I wanted to create an installation that complemented the space and felt like it belonged," Broom told Dezeen.

"As well as observing the interior of The Shard with its angles and facets, I also considered the building as a whole. The overall silhouette of the tree pretty much resembles the composition of The Shard itself, also the singular pendants are based on this too."

Recognising that The Shard's views of the London skyline are its main attraction, Broom was conscious that the size and impact of the glass structure shouldn't obscure the expansive windows.

Two of the four facets of the glass pendants are reeded vertically to allow for refraction with the LED light, while the remaining two are left plain to allow visitors to catch glimpses of the view through the installation.

The glass structure is the largest Nude has ever created. The overall weight of the installation, which is based on a reinforced circular steel plate, was a major challenge and meant Nude had to be precise when creating the thin crystalline forms.

"Each of the glass pendants, which were hand blown by Nude, were pre-set to their specific height and then individually wired and suspended to create the formation," said Broom.

"All of this was implemented on scissor lifts at a height of over 10 meters on the 31st floor of a 310-meter-high building. It was a painstaking process and we had to be incredibly accurate to achieve the overall configuration."

The Tree of Glass has been designed so it can be disassembled in the New Year and sold as individual lighting products. All proceeds from their sale will be donated to The British Red Cross, Broom's chosen charity.

In previous years, Aqua Shard has collaborated with Vivienne Westwood, Matthew Williamson and Timothy Hatton Architects for its Christmas tree.

Photography by David Clevand.

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