Klaus Littmann Has Converted an Austrian Soccer Stadium into a Forest

A dystopian vision comes to life within this soccer stadium.

Nathaniel Bahadursingh Nathaniel Bahadursingh

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Swiss art curator Klaus Littmann has transformed an Austrian soccer stadium into a native Central European forest. Using 300 trees and the help of landscape architect Enzo Enea, the Wörthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt is now Austria’s largest public art installation.

Image via UNIMO

Entitled, For Forest – The Unending Attraction of Nature, the project is Littmann’s realization of Austrian artist and architect Max Peintner’s The Unending Attraction of Nature, a dystopian drawing depicting a world where nature could only be exhibited in designated spaces, like animals in zoos. 

Max Peintner’s “The Unending Attraction of Nature”; image via Max Peintner

The work was originally created in 1971 and discovered by Littmann in the 80s, making For Forest decades in the making. However, the timing of its inception couldn’t be better. The installation, even when it was merely a pencil drawing, highlights the pressing issues of climate change and deforestation, phenomena currently at their zenith and the subjects of growing global discussions and activism. It aims to challenge our perception of nature and question its future as it’s transplanted into a completely abnormal context. For Forest allows us to physically experience a scenario where natural spaces only exist as objects in an exhibition. 

Overseen by Enea Landscape Architecture, a diverse range of tree species, such as Silver Birch, Alder, Aspen, White Willow, Hornbeam, Field Maple and Common Oak, have been carefully inserted atop the existing soccer field. The artificial forest will take on a life of its own, changing colors as the season turns and attracting wildlife. 

For Forest is currently open for viewing until October 27th. Under natural light or flood light, the forest will be in full display daily, allowing audiences to experience a unique and odd perspective of nature. After the installation concludes, the forest will be replanted on a public site of the same size near the stadium to remain as a living “forest sculpture”. A wooden pavilion will be constructed alongside the site and serve as an education hub for future visitors and students.

Image via UNIMO

Photography is by Gerhard Maurer unless otherwise stated.

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