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‘Traditionally untraditional’ Christmas lights up King’s Cross with three spectacular trees

A trio of alternative Christmas trees are on display until the new year.

The Terrarium Tree © John Sturrock

The Terrarium Tree in Coal Drops Yard is one of King’s Cross’ Christmas installations
© John Sturrock

As we’re just a month away from Christmas, it’s time for London’s sights to be transformed with festive lights. Offering something different from the typical spruces are three alternative Christmas trees for the ‘traditionally untraditional’ Christmas at King’s Cross. After such an unusual year, why not take a different approach to festive decorations?

Unveiled on 23 November and on show until the new year are three different interpretation of the traditional Christmas tree. All the light installations have been dotted throughout the 67 acres of open space in King’s Cross so spectators can safely enjoy them while socially distancing.

The Electric Nemeton Tree in Granary Square has been designed by local architecture practice Sam Jacob Studio. The 36ft high tree is a futuristic metal construction inspired by the origins of the Christmas tree tradition. Surrounded by water fountains, the structure can be admired from the side and below.

The Terrarium Tree in Coal Drops Yard has been created by the Botanical Boys. The 28ft tree is comprised of 70 terrariums containing miniature gardens and 168 mirror baubles. Following the close of the festive period, the terrariums will be rehomed in the new year.

The People’s Tree at Battle Bridge Place is a multi-coloured, interactive tree. The lights are powered by people with censors picking up vibrations from nearby footprints or people’s movements. The dynamic light installation is located just moments from the popular IFO (Identified Flying Object), aka ‘the birdcage’.

  • The King’s Cross’ ‘Untraditional’ Christmas is on show now until 4 January 2021. Installations on show at Coal Drops Yard, Battle Bridge Place and Granary Square, King’s Cross, NC1. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website.

 

Find out what’s on in London in December 2020 here.

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There’s a giant snow globe coming to London (and the chance to win a car!)

© Actimel

Jump into a giant snow globe for the chance to win a Mini
© Actimel

Rather predictably, the recent snow flurries to hit the capital didn’t stay long. However, this week, Londoners will be given the chance to experience ‘real’ winter weather while in a bid to win a car.

On 15 and 16 February, a giant snow globe will be popping up at King’s Cross as part of a experiential event. Londoners will be invited to get inside and battle the elements in the hope of winning a Mini Convertible.

If you need some new wheels and think you’ve got what it takes, head down to the station and take part for free.

The Actimel Snow Globe will be at inside King’s Cross railway station, Euston Road, King’s Cross, N1 9AL. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. From 7am-7pm on 15 – 16 February 2017. Visit www.actimel.co.uk for more information.

For a guide to what else is on in London in February, click here.

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Check out the Twitter machine as TFL celebrates ‘Metroland’ at designjunction 2016

twitter machine TFL

Florian Dussopt’s Twitter Machine will be on show at DesignJunction during London Design Festival

Returning this month as part of the London Design Festival is designjunction. The flagship show hosts design exhibitions at its new site in Granary Square in Kings Cross. For the fifth year in a row, Transport for London are celebrating their design heritage at designjunction. This year, TfL will be launching a series of products to mark the 2016 theme ‘Metroland’, as well as hosting a fun fair installation and a Twitter machine.

Florian Dussopt has designed a machine in the shape of the TfL roundel, which prints out tweets in the iconic Johnston typeface designed by Edward Johnston (1872-1944). The Underground Group’s Frank Pick commissioned Johnston to create the script in 1916.

The theme of this year’s TfL collaboration with designjunction is ‘Metroland’, a marketing term used to describe the suburbs of north-west London which sprung up near the newly extended Metropolitan line. London Transport’s property division Country Estates attempt to lure Londoners away from the frantic city to the green suburbs such as Wembley Park, Neasden, Pinner, Rayners Lane, Rickmansworth, Ruislip and Amersham in the 1910s and 1920s.

Among the companies taking part is online retailer Made.com, which has been inspired by TfL’s archives to create a unique collection of furniture, lighting and accessories. Kirkby Design has created new versions of the Piccadilly textile design, while Loris & Livia have created a collection of tablemats and coasters made from rubber train flooring. Meanwhile, Finnish brand Vallila have created prints, tea towels, cushions and tote bags featuring iconic scenes of London life, inspired by London Transport’s advertising poster archives.

  • Designjunction is at Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. Takes place from 22 September – 25 September 2016. For more information, visit the designjunction website. The London Design Festival runs from 17 – 25 September 2016. For more information, visit the LDF website.

For a guide to what else is on in London in September, click here.

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London A Cappella Festival 2016: World class vocal groups brighten up January

© Nedim Nazerali

Grammy-winning vocal group The Swingles will be performing at the A Cappella Festival
© Nedim Nazerali

Following the success of Glee and the Pitch Perfect movies, a cappella is bigger than ever. Returning to brighten up this gloomy January is the London A Cappella Festival. Now in its 7th year, the three-day festival is bringing some of the top a cappella groups from around the world to our capital.

Home Free

Country music group Home Free are flying over from Minnesota, USA to make their UK debut

This year’s festival at Kings Place in Kings Cross is curated by five-time Grammy-winning vocal group The Swingles and Ikon Arts Management. There won’t be an instrument in the place as singers come together with only their voices creating the music. The festival forms part of BBC’s Great Creative event, which celebrates British arts, culture and creativity.

Among the highlights of this year’s festival include co-hosts The Swingles, performing ‘Winter Tales’, inspired by the cold season. Country music group Home Free are flying over from Minnesota, USA to make their UK debut, while Tenebrae Consort will be singing as they launch their new album Sun, Moon, Sea And Stars. Other acts performing included supergroup Naturally 7 and Shlomo & the Vocal Orchestra. There will also be workshops, foyer showcases, talks and free interactive events.

  • The London A Cappella Festival runs from 28 – 30 January 2016. It takes place at Kings Place, 90 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AG. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. Tickets start from £9.50. For more information, visit the London A Capella Festival.

For a guide to what else is on in London in January, click here.

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