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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Frozen Trees in Lisbon, Portugal by Like Architects

 
February 8th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Like Architects

“FROZEN TREES” is a temporary installation for Christmas lighting in D. Pedro IV square in Lisbon. It builds an illuminated, frozen and fractal Christmas landscape that affects and alters the path of passers by.

Thirty cylinders – structured, self-sufficient streetlights – are placed throughout the square, drawing a new landscape and context and inviting the visitors to new spatial experiences.

Image Courtesy Dinis Sottomayor

  • Architects: Like Architects / Diogo Aguiar + Teresa Otto
  • Project: Frozen Trees – Ephemeral Installation for the Christmas Lighting of the Square D. Pedro IV
  • Location: Lisbon, Portugal
  • Client: Câmara Municipal de Lisboa (cm-lisboa.pt), MUDE – Museu do Design e da Moda (mude.pt)
  • Construction: OutrosMercadus
  • Photography: FG+SG Fotografia de arquitectura | Architecture photography, Dinis Sottomayor

Image Courtesy Dinis Sottomayor


Dimensions:
10 prisms with 3,60 m high with pentagonal base (16 cm side);
10 prisms with 3,60 m high with decagonal base (16 cm side);
10 prisms with 3,60 m high with pentadecagonal base (16 cm side);

Materials:
2400 plastic bags dispensers ”Rationell Variera”
2500 meters of metallic tubular (square section) – 10X10X1.5mm
100 meters of metallic tubular (square section) – 25X25X2mm
330 linear meters of 12-volt white LED tape
45 12-volt car batteries
10 battery chargers
4800 self-drilling screws 3.5x16mm;

Image Courtesy Dinis Sottomayor

Designed from the creative association of ”Rationell Variera” piece by K Hagberg/M Hagberg (IKEA – 1,5€), and taking advantage from its shape, “FROZEN TREES” brings a domestic object to the scale of the town – thus dissociating it from its original function and leading to the loss of its identity as a single element, making a general call for creativity in the current socio-economic conjecture.

Image Courtesy Dinis Sottomayor

The volumes, made of multiple holes, are visually trespassed and define an ethereal presence in the square. The installation takes then advantage from the holes of the original object and the translucent properties of its material – polypropylene plastic -, simultaneously flexible, non-inflammable and highly absorbent and potentiating the transmittance of light, either natural or artificial. Blending with the urban surrounding, “FROZEN TREES” presents different characteristics during the day and night: by day, the trees make surprising shadows and the ensemble makes an abstract, white and tracery landscape, through which we see the surrounding; by night, illuminated from inside by LEDs, the elements, as street lamps, explode with white light, creating a Christmas ambience with variable intensity.

Image Courtesy Dinis Sottomayor

Structural and constructive strategy
A 160 x 450 mm plastic piece is the basic element for the modular logic of this project; in fact, it is the size of the element that draws the structural module.  Each of the 30 trees is the same height – 3,6 metres – but three different diameters coexist – 5, 10 or 15 pieces in the bottom – totalling ten units on each of the three sizes.  The light metal structure is made of vertical profiles and horizontal triangular rings; the first receive the IKEA pieces, the latter the illumination network made of monochromatic LEDs.  Twenty four hundred ‘Rationell Variera’ pieces were previously fastened to the structures, still at the studio, and later transported to the Rossio. Once at the destination, the basis of these elements was fixed to the ground, to ensure its stability.

Image Courtesy Dinis Sottomayor

Sustainability strategy
“FROZEN TREES” is a fast production and easy set-up installation, able to pop-up and disappear from a city without destroying or damaging anything.  “FROZEN TREES” illumination is based upon a white monochromatic LED system, characterized by low voltage and energy consumption and also able to adjust the light’s intensity.  Each element’s energy supply is made by a car battery that ensures its autonomy throughout the Christmas period.  Regarding the effect/cost ratio, choosing a standard object proved to be an effective solution, allowing for a unique aesthetic result for a very competitive price. On the other hand, polypropylene plastic pieces are reusable and highly recyclable.

Image Courtesy FG+SG arquitectura

Now, with the Christmas period to end, \”FROZEN TREES\” are looking to other places and squares of the country, so they can adapt, in a surprising and innovative way, to new contexts, suggesting new spatial opportunities.

Image Courtesy FG+SG arquitectura

Image Courtesy FG+SG arquitectura

Image Courtesy FG+SG arquitectura

Image Courtesy FG+SG arquitectura

Image Courtesy FG+SG arquitectura

Image Courtesy FG+SG arquitectura

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Categories: Public Art, Public Landscapes

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