Thomasons was responsible for the structural design of Britain’s largest artificial Christmas tree. The tree was first installed in 2008 and is an annual feature at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, the UK’s largest outlet shopping centre, near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.
The tree stands 90ft high, as tall as seven London buses, is 32ft wide and weighs more than 18 tons. The 14 tons of steel sit on 12 concrete piles sunk 40ft into the bedrock and are held together with 1.2 miles of structural cabling and half a ton of nuts and bolts. It is decorated with 100,000 bulbs and 20,000 baubles.
It took 15 men working tirelessly for 5 days to erect and decorate the structure, which is so large that it needed planning permission.
The tree has been engineered to withstand a one-in-a-100 year storm and many tons of snow.
In 2013, Thomasons designed two doorways to create Europe’s first walk-through tree, allowing shoppers to walk inside to see the spectacular illuminations created by more than five miles of 90,000 fairy lights.
More recently, due to redevelopment of the site, the tree had to be relocated and Thomasons provided structural designs for the new piled foundation base.