Squint/Opera co-produced a ‘making-of’ film with Heatherwick Studio, featuring both live and animated footage to provide the story behind the Tree of Trees sculpture at Buckingham Palace, at the heart of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend celebrations. The film visualises the process behind the idea, design, creation and installation of this important sculpture. It also reflects the legacy and impact of Her Majesty’s Green Canopy initiative, which has already led to the planting of a million trees, helping to green our cities and renew the countryside.
Architecture & Built Environment
Heatherwick Studio / LionHeart
Squint/Opera were asked to communicate the lack of trees in urban cities, the national effort behind the Tree of Trees and the legacy it leaves behind.
A ‘making of’ film detailing the process and message behind the Tree of Trees sculpture created for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Tree of Trees, standing at 21-metre-high, was unveiled during a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, 2nd June 2022, in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The sculpture, designed by Heatherwick Studio, is part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, a national community campaign to plant more trees and inspire the next generation.
This film tells the story in the words of Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape Hon FRIBA, an award-winning poet and spoken word performer. He captures in poetry the purpose of this project and evokes the spirit that infused the Tree of Trees.
The film’s introduction provides context for the lack of trees in urban cities throughout the UK. It ties Heatherwick’s sculpture into the Queen’s environmental efforts to plant trees and contextualises her national initiative, utilising historical film to show her dedication to ecology over her reign.
Constructed using reclaimed surplus steel, the sculpture features 350 British-grown saplings in spun aluminium pots set along its 80 branches. A wide team of welders, designers, fabricators, and arborists from across the UK collaborated to create this ecological monument.
The film’s “Making of” segment focuses on the quick turnaround and national effort behind the fabrication of the Tree of Trees, highlighting the places and materials involved in the design and manufacture of the sculpture. It also highlights artisans’ efforts to get the piece ready in time for the Platinum Jubilee.
After the Jubilee, the saplings were transported to a nursery in Cambridgeshire and nurtured in 20-litre pots until the planting season commenced. The 350 saplings were then dispersed across the U.K. Every county received one.
Currently, more than 17,500 tree species are threatened with extinction. The film reflects the legacy and impact of Her Majesty’s Green Canopy initiative, which offers a practical response to this crisis. The project has already led to the planting of a million trees, helping to green our cities and renew the countryside.
Heatherwich and Squint wanted to leave viewers with a powerful call to action to foster a greener future. It aims to inspire all people, especially the next generation, to contribute to the survival of threatened species, promoting a sustainable future and highlighting the enduring legacy of our late Queen.