Wörthersee Stadion, home of Austrian football club SK Austria Klagenfurt, has been transformed into a temporary forest as part of an installation by Swiss artist Klaus Littmann.

Around 300 trees have been fitted on the pitch at the 32,000-seat stadium, which was one of the host venues during the UEFA Euro 2008 national team football tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

The installation, which has been dubbed ‘For Forest’, officially opened to the public yesterday (Sunday). People will be able to visit the stadium free of charge until the installation is cleared on October 27.

Littmann said the idea of the installation is to create an image of a “forest that we have put in a totally new context”. He added, according to the AFP news agency: “The contrast between the trees and the steel, concrete and glass – you can’t get better than that.”

Littmann hopes the project will bring issues such as climate change and deforestation into the public eye. Littmann has taken inspiration from a painting by Austrian artist Max Peintner, which depicts a full stadium whose attention is directed at a forest of trees on the pitch.

Oak, birches and larches are among the trees that have been installed at the stadium, which opened in 2007. SK Austria Klagenfurt has been forced to move to the nearby Karawankenblick Stadium while the installation is in place.

Once the forest is removed from the pitch, it will be replanted in a public place close to the stadium as a ‘living sculpture’.

Image: For Forest