Thirty cylinders – structured, self-sufficient streetlights – are placed throughout the Rossio square in downtown Lisbon, drawing a new landscape and context and inviting the visitors to new spatial experiences. Designed by Portuguese studio Like Architects for the city's public illumination during the 2011-2012 holiday season, Frozen Trees was devised from the creative association of 2400 pieces of the "Rationell Variera" bag dispenser by K. Hagberg/M. Hagberg (on sale at IKEA). Taking advantage from its shape, the installation brings a domestic object to the scale of the city – thus dissociating it from its original function and causing the loss of its identity as a single element.
The installation takes advantage from the holes in the original object and the translucent properties of its material – polypropylene plastic -, simultaneously flexible, non-inflammable, highly absorbent and permeable to light. Frozen Trees blends ethereally with the urban surrounding, and assumes a different character during the day and night. By day, the trees create surprising shadows and the ensemble creates an abstract, white landscape; at night, illuminated from inside by LEDs, the "trees" double as street lamps, exploding with white light with variable intensity.
Frozen trees is a fast production, non-intrusive and easy to set-up installation, with illumination based upon a white monochromatic LED system. The energy supply for each "tree" is provided by a car battery, ensuring its autonomy. With the end of the holiday season, Frozen Trees are ready to adapt to new contexts, and to suggest new spatial opportunities.