Claridge’s, London’s legendary Mayfair hotel has unveiled the Claridge’s Christmas Tree 2016 in the hotel lobby designed by Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer and Marc Newson. Widely regarded as two of the world’s most influential designers, they are also long-time friends of the hotel. This year’s Claridge’s festive installation is an immersive experience that plays with the relationship between nature and technology, tradition and the future and between three dimensions and two.
Created by Ive and Newson, in collaboration with renowned British set designer Michael Howells, a magical forest combines modern techniques with traditional forms and with nature. Claridge’s lobby is lined with grand scale four metre high light boxes that glow with black and white photographic images of snow covered silver birch trees, set on a pure white floor. Against this backdrop, rise cast models of Scots pine, layered with both natural and photographed silver birch and fir trees, rising to a canopy of natural green pine.
Playing with proportions, a young three feet high tree grows amongst the forest, symbolic of the future. A bright white light ebbs and flows, fading to a celestial night scene and back through sunrise to day, on a continuous cycle. Commenting on the installation, Jony and Marc said, “There are few things more pure and beautiful than nature, so that was our starting point, layering various iterations of organic forms with technology. Our aim was to create an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition while recognising our excitement about the future and things to come." Paddy McKillen co-owner of Claridge’s said “We are honoured and delighted that our friends Jony and Marc agreed to take up the challenge of designing our annual Claridge’s Christmas Tree. I truly believe that their innovative vision brings the best of tradition and technology together to create some Christmas magic and fun in our lobby for guests and visitors at this festive time of year.”