December brings a generous dose of festive spirit and it seems with each year, London’s hospitality and cultural venues are getting more competitive with their decorations, commissioning leading artists and designers to create some truly unique offerings. With names like Karl Lagerfeld and Es Devlin designing trees for London institution’s this year, there’s a lot to look forward to. Something Curated highlights nine of the capital’s most imaginative Christmas trees, taking a closer look at the creatives behind them.
Ace Hotel || Sebastian Ziegler
Breaking tradition, Ace Hotel’s Christmas tree is a video projection of a spruce tree during Norway’s first snowfall, made by acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Sebastian Ziegler. The lobby will also be decorated in real spruce branches and will have a pine scent created by Haeckels, as well as brand new forest-inspired food and beverage offerings.
The V&A || Es Devlin
The Singing Tree : a sculptural poem/ carol generated from donated words. At the V&A, London now until 6 jan. Made possible by the following collaborators: all so generous with their expertise: @lukehallsstudio @res.lab @_sunshineco @yamahamusiceurope @disguise_one @lizzieprops @Michaelwhiteley @rossgoodwin @prg_uk
The Singing Tree takes the words submitted by visitors and uses algorithms to create an audio-visual carol, with human and machine generated voices. Conceived by stage designer Es Devlin, the inventive tree is part of a musical celebration of Christmas at the V&A with candlelit concerts, film screenings and decoration-making workshops, inspired by the V&A exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics.
Sanderson Hotel || Gary Card
Commissioned by the Sanderson Hotel, London-based set designer and illustrator Gary Card created a Christmas tree made entirely out of Plasticine. Appearing like something straight out of his Happy Breakfast zine, published earlier this year, Card’s tree is made up of innumerable vibrant elements, including festive snowmen, various renditions of Santa Claus, as well as a cameo from the Cheshire Cat.
Claridge’s || Karl Lagerfeld
This year’s Christmas tree at Claridge’s is designed by Karl Lagerfeld. The festive installation is inspired by the designer’s childhood memories of Christmas, with a series of inverted spruce trees placed around the hotel lobby. The centrepiece is a sixteen foot high inverted tree with silver gilded roots topped with a multi-faceted mirrored star which reflects rays of light across the art deco lobby. Reminiscent of a silver stalactite, the tree is hung with traditional silver lametta decorations, silver butter leather feathers and snowflakes handmade by craftsmen in Germany with tree candles giving a warm, inviting glow.
Nobu Hotel || Papershake Origami
Enjoy a warming festive evening by the lobby lounge fireplace in the company of our unique origami Christmas tree. Hand crafted by @papershakeorigami. #nobuhotelshoreditch #nobushoreditch #nobu #nobuhotels #mynobushoreditch #nobuchristmas #christmasspirit #bespoketravel #passionpassport #staywithus #dinewithus #christmashampers
Nobu Hotel, which launched in London earlier this year, commissioned East London Origami artists Papershake to create a striking festive three-metre tall centrepiece for its lobby lounge. The result is a tree which combines elements from ancient Japanese art with modern parametric design techniques. With multiple facets catching the light to create a geometric array of light and shadow, the tree will also be illuminated from within in a fresh approach to the traditional Christmas tree.
Hoi Polloi || Matty Bovan
My xmas tree for @wearehoipolloi covered in a clay modern folk tale of mythological creatures and demons 🖤Thank you so much @mandilennard @davidjwaddington @wearehoipolloi @bistrotheque @acehotel thank you to all my fabulous helpers @_lucastate @slidfromthefabricflaps @_asbestos ❤️❤️❤️ and everyone that came last night was so gorg 💜
Anarchic and pink, London designer Matty Bovan’s garish tree at the Ace hotel’s Hoi Polloi brasserie is peppered with his signature mini-sculptures. He told The Guardian: “The objects on my tree reflect both the horrors and joys of 2017, and there is an overall positive feeling of hope radiating through the whole tree looking towards to 2018, pushing through the only way we really can, which is to keep being creative.”
Granary Square King’s Cross || Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan
Installed in front of Central Saint Martins, DOES THE ITERATIVE FIT, a new artwork by Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan, is a chaos of shapes, colours and lights, complete with an alternative Christmas soundtrack. The tree is the latest commission for The King’s Cross Project, curated by Tamsin Dillon and Rebecca Heald.
The Connaught || Tracey Emin
This year’s Connaught Christmas tree has been designed by the British contemporary artist Tracey Emin. The tree sends London a message of love in the form of a poem, written by the artist. Her words are recreated in coloured lights (christened ‘Connaught purple’), shaped to represent her distinctive handwriting and carefully positioned so that passers-by can read the poem. At the top of the tree sits a glowing angel, a tribute to Tracey’s mother Pam who died last year.
The London EDITION || John Booth
This year, The London EDITION presents a Christmas tree designed by London-based illustrator, ceramicist and textile designer John Booth. Renowned for his graphic aesthetic featuring multi-layered collages, the tree launched in the Lobby Bar, decorated with bespoke baubles, illuminating the room with festive spirit. Similar to his studio practise, Booth plays an unconventional twist on his subjects by exploring with materials, textures and vibrant colours.
Feature image: Es Devlin’s The Singing Tree at V&A (via Victoria and Albert Museum)