London's best Christmas trees by artists and designers 05.12.19

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Yinka Ilori Sanderson Milo Brown 4 copy

As the festive season gets into full swing, we pick out a selection of the best design-led installations around the capital

The temperature has dropped, the US-influenced mad discount shopping days have passed, and the streets and shops are filled with lit-up displays and installations. From among the flashing lights and quantities of fake snow, we've picked out a few of the festive installations by a range of artists and designers, from minimalist to maximalist.

Yinka Ilori at the Sanderson London

Yinka Ilori Sanderson Milo Brown 1Yinka Ilori's design in the lobby of the Sanderson. Photo by Milo Brown

Designer Yinka Ilori tops a prolific year of installations across London with a Christmas tree commission at the Sanderson London hotel. His non-traditional stacked tree design resembles of a polychromic pile of presents, with cylinders and a trapezoid forming a loose tree-like shape. The installation is in Ilori’s signature bright colours, with each box lit from within and the minimalist shape providing a suitable complement to the modernist hotel and its Philippe Starck-designed interiors.

The Sanderson London, 50 Berners Street. See it until 5 January 2020

Sean Scully at the Connaught

Connaught Tree 2019 JMS 002Sean Scully's design is just outside the Connaught

Irish artist Sean Scully has created a festive tree for the Connaught, joining a list of art-world luminaries to take on the task, including Tracey Emin and Antony Gormley. The veteran artist calls on an abstract style and Suprematism to create blocks of colour made up of lights, completely covering the nine-metre spruce located next to the Tadao Ando fountain. The four panels of colour are made up of 25,000 light bulbs, with Scully describing it as a ‘Suprematist Christmas tree wearing a starry night magician’s hat.’

The Connaught, Carlos Place. See it until the first week of January

David Batchelor at King's Cross

Kings Xmas Tree David Batchelor 1The King's Xmas Tree lit up at night, designed by David Batchelor

The Granary Square area of King’s Cross hosts the area’s Christmas tree, a simple, minimalist, industrial design by Scottish artist David Batchelor. The 13.5-metre high structure is made of scaffolding, designed to reference the regeneration and construction happening in the area. By night the tapered structure lights up, with LEDs forming five stacked triangles that look like the very simplest drawing of a Christmas tree.

Granary Square, King's Cross. See it until 2 January 2020

Luke Edward Hall at the London Edition

LED Edition Christmas tree 191119 001Luke Edward Hall's design for the London Edition

British designer Luke Edward Hall has brought the current vogue for maximalism to the Christmas tree at the London Edition. The six-metre tree is festooned with ribbons and bows and old-fashioned baubles from the 1980s, plus illustrations by Hall. The simple line drawings of cherubs, animals and busts have been turned into oversized decorations, seemingly haphazardly tied across the tree – and the final extravagance is the golden wooden galleon fastened to the tree as a topper that almost touches the hotel’s ornate ceiling.

London Edition, 10 Berners Street. See it until early January 2020

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