4 December 2023

8 Unique Trees from Christmas Past and Present

In the world of design, tradition often forms a solid base from which artists can craft their vision. The Christmas tree is an enduring symbol of joy and togetherness and over the years it has been reimagined by designers and creators who refuse to be bound by convention. Join us on a festive journey as we explore eight extraordinary Christmas trees that redefine the spirit of the holiday season.

  1. Louis Vuitton Christmas Tree

    Louis Vuitton has just unveiled a dazzling Christmas tree installation at Claridges Hotel in London. It features a stack of 15 chrome trunks framing a 5.2-metre high tree silhouette. Placed in the grand, art-deco style lobby the tree showcases (see what we did there?) creativity by cleverly reflecting the brand’s iconic travel cases as well as the hotel’s elegant interior. The tree is crowned with a miniature model of the Louis Vuitton family home in Asnières, while 21 variations of the brand’s Vivienne mascots, including a festive Father Christmas adorn the distinctive display.

    Credit: Louis Vuitton and Claridges
  2. The Singing Christmas Tree by Es Devlin

    Set designer Es Devlin created a ‘singing’ Christmas tree that emitted audio visual carols. This inventive creation blended thousands of words from the public with sound algorithms trained on 25 million words from 19th Century poetry. Commissioned for the V&A in 2017, the tree engaged museum visitors by inviting them to contribute a single word to its repertoire. The result was a harmonious choir that blended both human and synthesised voices combined with the carols, making it a truly interactive and immersive experience.

    Credit: V&A
  3. Does The Iterative Fit by Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan

    Artists Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan brought a touch of whimsy to King’s Cross’ Granary Square in 2017 with their playful and cartoon-like Christmas tree. Comprising of an arrangement of multicoloured lights and cones, the tree’s design cleverly transformed these elements into the noses and mouths of eight charming faces that peer out from the tree. The installation was key feature of the broader arts initiative, The Kings Cross Project.

    Credit: Dezeen
  4. Christmas Tree by Nendo

    Japanese design studio Nendo created their tree for the Tokyo Midtown Shopping Centre in 2022. The gold-coloured tree was designed with kinetic cutouts that resemble ‘sparkling lights.’ The 7.5 metre tree boasted a polyhedral surface constructed from flat metal panels securely bolted together to create a striking pyramid. Behind these panels adorned with delicate star-shaped cutouts, 416 fans were meticulously programmed to choreograph intricate movements. These movements influenced by the breeze, formed captivating patterns that appeared to swirl around the tree.

    Credit: Takumi Ota
  5. One Love by Hughbon Condor

    In 2022, Harewood House near Leeds hosted the ‘Long Live the Christmas Tree’ exhibition where artists, makers and designers were asked to create ‘traditionally untraditional’ Christmas trees that echoed the spirit and history of the glorious 18th Century country house, utilising resources from the estate and beyond. Costume designer Hughbon Condor’s colourful creation gathered elements from winter festivals from across a variety of different cultures to create his One Love Christmas tree, born to celebrate cultural diversity. “You may instantly see elements of your own celebration but may require closer observation to see other celebrations.”-he said of his creation.

    Credit: Tom Arber
  6. The Merry Breakfast Tree by Gary Card

    The eight-foot structure was created from 400 bars of plasticine in an array of colours and created a colourful and whimsical display. The piece featured beloved characters from Alice in Wonderland, among them Alice herself, the Cheshire cat, white rabbit and card soldiers. They shared the spotlight with classic Christmas figures like snowmen and gingerbread men. Weighing approximately 200lbs, the ambitious project was the collaborative effort of 3 artists who took 36 hours to meticulously craft its intricate details. It took an additional 10 hours to bring the tree to life at its location at the Sanderson Hotel, London.

    Credit: Dezeen
  7. The Tree of Glass by Lee Broom

    2017 saw a collaboration between lighting designer Lee Broom and glassware brand Nude when the Tree of Glass was born. A 10-metre tall Christmas tree made from 245 individual hand-blown glass lights was displayed at The Shard in London. “I wanted to create an installation that complemented the space and felt like it belonged. 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”- Broom said of the project. The tree was designed so that it could be disassembled and sold as individual lighting products. All proceeds from sales were donated to the British Red Cross, Broom’s chosen charity.

    Credit: David Clevand
  8. The Lattice Tree by Outer Edit

    In 2019 Singapore’s Millenia Walk shopping centre was home to The Lattice Tree by creative agency The Outer Edit. The structure comprised of metal cubes in bright, gradient colours stacked to form ten tiers. Visitors could stand inside the tree to observe its geometry which could also be seen lit from within by a plethora of LED lights.

    Credit: Outer Edit

We’ve been mesmerised by the boundless creativity of these artists and designers from across the globe whose creations serve as a vibrant testament to the ever-evolving spirit of the holiday season. Each one tells a unique story of innovation, culture and creativity.

What will your Christmas tree say about you this year?