06 Feb Spotlight On: Giant Indoor Sculpted Banyan Tree
Giant-Replica-Indoor-Banyan-Tree-with-27’-canopy? Yes we did.
We had the most wonderful opportunity to help Vivo for Healthier Generations, in Calgary, AB, conceptualize, design, build and install a huge artificial Banyan Tree in the centre of their community gathering space.
Utilizing a Canada 150 grant in a meaningful way that will attract the local community that uses the centre on a daily basis, was a huge feat. We collaborated with Vivo, and with the help of the community’s input, created the most epic indoor tree.
Made to wrap around an existing pole with a massive canopy of 10’ on one side and 17’ on the other side, and incorporating large sculpted roots to look like an old growth tree, this project was a big undertaking.
The inspiration around building the tree in this space was to bring a bit of the outdoors, inside and to encourage play with the incorporation of a youth play area nestled underneath the tree (think big giant rocks and all the imagination in the world!). It was a community installation, so it was important to encourage play, interaction, new connections, community bonding and a four seasons approach to being “outdoors” (this is huge in Alberta – it snowed during spring break, while we were installing!)
There was a lot of preparation at our warehouse in advance of the install, we made over 70 real wood branches that were scenic painted to look like a banyan branch, and added artificial Banyan foliage to them. Pre-made branch holders were in production, initial sculpting of the trunk and roots were all completed before we got onsite.
Then there was 5 days of onsite installation including lots of drilling, strategically hanging branches, to achieve the massive canopy, lots of shaping, and tons of onsite artistic sculpting and painting the artificial trunk and roots to make it look seamless and as realistic as possible.
We were under the watchful eye of the Vivo community during our install days, everyone wondering what “the builders” were making, and the end result didn’t disappoint. Within minutes of the safety fencing coming down a few days after we finished, kids were climbing and playing on the rocks, as though the tree and that space had been there for years.
We are delighted to hear there are plans to have library reading hour under the big tree, and other fun activities for all age groups.
This tree was the first of its kind in Greenscape’s history of big tree builds, but it won’t be the last. Once you see it, we know everyone will want a giant artistically sculpted tree in their space!