City of Bethlehem: Christmas Trellis

Project Description

The Christmas City Trellis is a design/build exhibit that displays and sells ornaments as part of Bethlehem’s new, annual holiday festivities. In addition to the trellis itself, SFA also developed the inaugural ornament design. Each year, ornaments will be designed by new artists from the Lehigh Valley and the trellis can be expanded via new modules to accommodate the display.

Project Details

  • Client City of Bethlehem
  • Location Bethlehem, PA
  • Sq. ft. 100
  • Completed 2015

To kick off the holiday season, the City of Bethlehem sought to construct an inaugural Christmas City Trellis. The idea was envisioned by in response to the Citizens Christmas City Committee challenge, “Will you be able to raise money to support the purchase of energy efficient, pre-strung, artificial Christmas trees?” The Trellis project will do just that, by displaying and selling ornaments as part of a new, annual holiday attraction. The Trellis is made of three major components: the frame,…

To kick off the holiday season, the City of Bethlehem sought to construct an inaugural Christmas City Trellis. The idea was envisioned by in response to the Citizens Christmas City Committee challenge, “Will you be able to raise money to support the purchase of energy efficient, pre-strung, artificial Christmas trees?” The Trellis project will do just that, by displaying and selling ornaments as part of a new, annual holiday attraction. The Trellis is made of three major components: the frame, the chimes, and the personalized ornaments. Each year a different artist will design the ornaments and presentation to encourage renewed donations.

To accommodate this arrangement, the frame is modular so future installations can grow and vary as desired. The 2015 ornaments are inspired by fusing the shapes and characteristics of two familiar holiday symbols: a star and a candle.

The team decided an acoustic installation best resonated with the brief because the sound serves as another layer of ornamentation. Of course, an important consideration for chimes is that they need to be musical. The intention was not for the Trellis chimes to make noise, but instead to create and build harmony. A significant amount of research went into how we could specifically design each of the chimes to sound a note within a complex chord. If the wind plays the chimes, the notes will sound intentional, and visitors can experiment with the chimes to create a song. The Trellis was unveiled during the Bethlehem Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Award Award of Excellence – AIA Eastern PA Chapter, 2016

Project City of Bethlehem: Christmas Trellis

Read the article

Award Strategic Partnership Award – Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, 2016

Project City of Bethlehem: Christmas Trellis

Read the article

Testimonial

Title AIA Eastern PA Awards Jury

This charming installation beautifully evokes holiday magic in the Christmas City. The thoughtful design is succinctly modern, but delightfully whimsical. The construct creates a sense of place and community, in an otherwise barren plaza. The playfulness of the chimes, with its intriguing sound and lighting, and its personalized brass tags could make someone believe that a wish made under it would come true!

Related projects

City of Easton: City Hall & Intermodal Transportation Center

View project

Lafayette College: Williams Visual Arts Center

View project

City of Bethlehem: Partnership for Innovation (Pi) Incubator

View project

Cetronia Ambulance Corps: Joint Operations Building

View project