“Solar Tree” Installation Made Of Reclaimed Solar Thermal Vacuum Tubes
Already home to works by some of China’s top contemporary artists, the Beijing boutique hotel mainstay the Opposite House this week unveiled its newest resident, a sculptural Christmas tree with a message. Created out of a partnership between Viessmann Heating Technology and the Opposite House, the hotel’s new Christmas tree is constructed out of 105 reclaimed solar thermal vacuum tubes and stands at nearly 6 meters in height. Sitting atop the tree is a three-dimensional solar energy icon designed by the German graphic artist, Karl Duschek, which takes the place of the traditional star.
While it may not remind visitors of their standard spruce, what it lacks in piney aromas it makes up for in raising awareness about environmental sustainability.
As Viessmann director of marketing, Andreas Tank, said this week, “Renewable energy sources play an important role in a sustainable global development, but during this festive season environmental consciousness seems to be set aside. The consideration of holiday consumption, energy-demanding decorations and the deforestation of trees worldwide gave inspiration to the idea of this tree.”
For the Opposite House, which has made much of environmentally friendly design and service touches like paperless registration, the use of natural light in public spaces, and its reclaimed wood corridors, this project is both a stretch and a natural brand extension. Said Opposite House GM, Anthony Ross, “This project is more industrial than what we‘ve done in the past. We wanted this year‘s ‘non-tree‘ tree to get visitors to reflect on their attitude towards sustainability during this holiday season; and working with Viessmann is a different approach to a shared value.”
Though it’s an obvious promotional vehicle for Viessmann Heating Technology, the Opposite House’s new Christmas “tree” — and the value it espouses, of reconsidering the impact of the holiday season on natural resources — stands in stark contrast to the massive (and real) Tiffany & Co. tree now forming the centerpiece of Hong Kong’s current consumption extravaganza, WinterFest. So while it may be one of Beijing’s best and most expensive luxury hotels, the Opposite House still shows a knack for shaking up a famously stuffy and straitlaced industry.