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Case Study – Melbourne Christmas Festival


Project Overview:

Chas Clarkson delivered the concept development, design, manufacture and installation of large-scale Christmas decorations and illumination for the City of Melbourne, including at the city’s iconic inner-city destination – Federation Square.


Project Brief:

The City of Melbourne required new, impactful assets to use in key locations as integral parts of the Melbourne Christmas Festival. The decorative pieces needed to be highly immersive and designed to drive visitation, social engagement and ultimately, PR opportunities. Decorations also needed to meet strict safety standards with appropriate engineer certification and be designed to withstand everything that comes with an external application through summer in Melbourne.


Our Approach:

Working closely with the City of Melbourne, Chas Clarkson developed two large, impactful statement pieces that allowed people of all ages and abilities to interact.


Federation Square was the location for our elegant 4 metre LED ‘Otaki’ Bauble Arches. These immersive rings provided a versatile display that can be rearranged to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the city, year on year.


The decoration positioned on Southbank included a large, shiny fabricated bow atop an open four-sided Present Box. The underside of the bow contained a large selfie mirror reflecting the image of visitors, along with the branded Melbourne Christmas Festival backdrop. To give this decoration a more festive feature, the ceiling was lined with an assortment of Christmas balls in multiple colours. The Present Box was later adapted and enhanced from the original static selfie moment, to incorporate 36 vibrant LED touch light panels in the floor for the ultimate interactive experience.



Installation of the pieces in Federation Square presented logistical challenges regarding the positioning of the decorations on the steps and their proximity to other decorations being installed at the same time. Chas Clarkson was able to Project Manage and work closely with both the City of Melbourne and the Federation Square Operations Team to safely and efficiently deliver a magical photo opportunity for the Melbourne community.


The Result:

Chas Clarkson delivered two exceptional decoration concepts that allowed people of all ages to immerse themselves in the City of Melbourne’s Christmas Festival. The decorations greatly enhanced the Festival experience, generating significant social engagement and word-of-mouth. In particular, the giant Present Box with its iconic gold bow has become a landmark along Southbank during the Christmas Festival.