As is tradition 'round this time of year, here's a look at an unorthodox public Christmas tree display that may lack the fragrant, needle-ly splendor of a Douglas fir or Norway spruce but is a sight to behold nevertheless.

Erected at Budapest's Palace of the Arts earlier this month and recently unveiled to visitors who are no doubt going to drop their stuffed cabbage rolls and stare in awe when stumbling across it, this particular nontraditional Tannenbaum consists of 365 wooden sleighs affixed to an intricate, 36-foot-tall wooden frame that sits atop a 4.5 ton steel base. At night, the strings of purple lights draped across the towering sleigh-tree are switched on for extra dramatic effect.

The tree is the handiwork of Hello Wood, an interdisciplinary design firm that organizes "projects and events defined by openness, experimenting, social sensitivity, innovation and development." And as the name of the firm may convey, Hello Wood specializes in timber-centric temporary installations — giant dinosaurs, eggs, numbers, shelters, etc. — designed with just as much astonishing attention to detail as this special seasonal sculpture which took about a week to install at the Palace of Arts. Aside from wooden sculptures, Hello Wood's claim to fame seems be holding an amazing summer "Art Camp" in which over 100 young designers and architects converge on the ground of this insane looking estate in the Hungarian countryside to go carpentry crazy and build stuff.

Hello Wood's Christmas Tree will be open to the public — you can even walk inside of it! — through Jan 5. And before you get all worked up about what a perfectly good waste of sleds the installation is, don't fret: Once the tree is disassembled, all 365 sleighs will be donated to the Hungarian branch of SOS Childrens Villages, an international children's rights organization triumphed by the late Nelson Mandela.
Remarks Hello Wood architect Andras Huszar: "We wanted to create a temporary installation, which is not only spectacular, but its main elements remain usable so they can be distributed among kids. For us, this is the point of social awareness: you don't only show something, but at the same time you give something unique."

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

No sleigh! Budapest Christmas tree built from 365 wooden sleds
An Hungarian design firm erects a massive wooden christmas tree bedecked with 365 sleighs with plans to later donate the sleds to foster children.