Forest in a stadium
A forest of nearly 300 trees has transformed an Austrian soccer stadium into an art installation. FOR FOREST - The Unending Attraction of Nature, is the work of Swiss artist Klaus Littmann who wants spectators to confront ideas of deforestation, climate change, and the role of nature in our lives.
He drew inspiration from a pencil sketch by Austrian artist and architect Max Peintner, which depicts a stadium filled with spectators looking at a pitch full of trees. With the help of Enea Landscape Architects, Littman turned Peintner’s fantasy into reality.
“Peinter drew The Unending Attraction of Nature in 1971,” Littmann told Dezeen. “At the time, there was only little discussion about climate change and deforestation. I discovered the drawing in the 80s at an art exhibition. It took me nearly 30 years to realise this project but never has the timing of one of my projects been so spot on."
The forest is composed of a diverse range of species common to central Europe such as silver birch, alder, aspen, white willow, hornbeam, field maple and common oak. The installation will take on a life of its own as Autumn takes hold, changing colours and attracting wildlife. With seating for up to 30,000, visitors to the Wörthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt get to experience a constantly changing landscape depending time of day or night and weather.
Some of the trees weigh up to six tons each. After the art intervention at the stadium ends on 27 October, the forest will be carefully replanted on a public site close to Wörthersee Stadium at a scale of 1:1 and remain as a living ‘forest sculpture’.
Littman says the project aims to challenge peoples’ perception of nature and question its future.
“It seeks to become a memorial, reminding us that nature, which we so often take for granted, may someday only be found in specially designated spaces, as is already the case with animals in zoos.”