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The Project

ARENA FOR A TREE 27.04.–06.06.2021

In Klagenfurt, 299 trees filled the court of a football stadium – in Basel, however, everything is concentrated on one single tree. The circumferential stand is inspired by annual rings that archive the gradual evolvement of a tree, and the outer contours of the arena reflect on the unevenness and roughness of tree bark.

The tree itself – mainplayer in this walk-in art installation in the center of Basel’s Münsterplatz – represents the forest. It is also a symbol for nature and its preservation, a stark ambassador in kind and a testimonial for this exhibition cycle.

«Nature is such a monumental work of art – so why not at least dedicate a small work of art to it.» Klaus Littmann


As in the For Forest project in Klagenfurt, Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea is responsible for the selection and cultivation of the tree. It is not a question of mere beauty or strength, but rather whether this tree can be integrated into Basel’s tree population and its ability to adapt to changing conditions, caused by global warming in the long run.

Enzo Enea’s choice fell on the ironwood tree, the Parrotia Persica from the witch hazel family. The slow-growing ironwood tree, which can reach a height of 10 meters, is made of very dense, hard wood and is so heavy that it is one of the few types of wood that does not float on water. Its leaves show a spectacular range of colors from yellow to red in autumn. Originally from Persia and the Caucasus, where the climate is also continental, the iron tree is used to distinct seasons. It likes the warmth, is hardy at the same time and tolerates the urban climate particularly well. This robustness, which is also characterized by hardly any pest or disease infestation, qualifies the stress-resistant ironwood tree for Enzo Enea as the perfect protagonist, which is also optimally prepared regarding the effects of climate change: “For me, the ironwood tree is the tree of hope and the future par excellence and as such a positive symbol for climate protection, which we humans must actively promote. Because nature does not need us, but we need nature.”

The arena will leave the Münsterhügel, the tree, however, shall take root in Basel and will be presented to the city as a gift.

The Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger presents the temporary art intervention ARENA FOR A TREE on Basel’s Münsterplatz, followed by the show TREE CONNECTIONS in the KBH.G exhibition space.

Media Releases and Media Images/-Videos Arena for a tree

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27.04. – extended till 06.06.2021
Open daily from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Münsterplatz, Basel
Free entry

We thank you warmly for your cooperation:
Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure | enea landscape architecture | Häring AG

11.05. – 11.07.2021
At the exhibition space of Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger I KBH.G Spitalstrasse 18, Basel
Open daily from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., except Tuesdays
Free entry


Press Review:





Texts by John McDonald, Florian Illies, Isabel Zürcher

German, English
Time of publication: 2021
288 pp., 210 ills., Quarterbound Hardcover
€ 48,00
ISBN: 978-3-7757-5035-6