Have you ever seen fully grown trees sprouting from the pitch of a perfectly functional football stadium? It’s certainly an unusual sight, but one that in Austria just became a reality you can visit.

This stadium now has a view onto a forest rather than a football game. Image courtesy of Gerard Maurer/UNANIMO

The For Forest installation by artist Klaus Littmann is on display at the Wörthersee Stadion in Klagenfurt, the main city of the Austrian Carinthia region. The stadium’s pitch has been entirely covered with more than 300 adult trees of native Central European species and turned into a forest of birches, willows, maples and oaks and many other varieties.

More than 300 Central European native trees were planted directly onto the pitch of Wörthersee Stadion. Image courtesy of Gerard Maurer/UNANIMO

For Forest is the largest public installation to have happened in Austria to this day, and its subtitle, “The Unending Attraction of Nature”, gives a clear idea of its uniqueness— the trees were planted directly onto the pitch during last days of summer, but as the weeks pass they will change to their autumn colours and attract wildlife, and offer visitors a different look each day.

This dystopian drawing by artist Max Peintner inspired the whole installation, which takes on the same title as the drawing, "The Unending Attraction of Nature". Image by Max Peintner

The location of this forest will also widely shape visitors’ perspective of it. “From 10 am until 10 pm daily, audiences will experience a unique panorama of trees, day and night, under natural light or by floodlight,” it reads in the installation’s description. “Depending on the time of day or night the trees will form an ever-changing landscape. This captivating panorama will pave the way for a whole new perspective and understanding of forests".

The installation combines art, nature and architecture together in a unique experience for visitors. Image courtesy of Gerard Maurer/UNANIMO

That’s ultimately the goal of the For Forest installation— get people thinking about forests and nature, and how to do better by them. “[It] aims to challenge our perception of nature and question its future,” it reads on the official press release. “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".

The trees will remain inside the stadium until the end of October 2019. Image courtesy of Gerard Maurer/UNANIMO

Admission to see For Forest is free. The installation is open daily and will remain inside the Wörthersee Stadion until 27 October, and then it will be replanted in a public space outside the building  its new permanent home as a “forest sculpture”. If you’d like to know more, you can check out the official website here.

Explore related stories

LAGO ESCONDIDO, BARILOCHE - ARGENTINA - FEBRUARY 2017 - Unidentified young people, enjoying the summer on the patagonian lake, eating and having fun on the deck.; Shutterstock ID 653309122; your: Sloane Tucker; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: Bariloche Landing Page

Budget Travel

Argentina on a budget

Jun 17, 2024 • 6 min read