Brazilian Artist Builds Labyrinth of Wooden Roots

Brazilian Artist Builds Labyrinth of Wooden Roots

Given a cavernous gallery space at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade in São Paulo, artist Henrique Oliveira has created Transarquitetônica, a breathtaking installation from plywood, which fills the room with twisted tree roots large enough for gallery visitors to walk inside.

Read on after the break for more images of the installation, including photos of its construction

+ 14

Courtesy of MAC USP via

The artwork evokes the sometimes cyclical nature of a material's lifespan, using waste scraps of plywood to create the effect of bark on the surface of the roots - a natural is harvested, processed, used, discarded, and finally finds itself being used in a setting in which it looks natural again.

The exit from the root maze. Image Courtesy of MAC USP via

The piece also plays on the perception of the favelas of São Paulo; plywood is a common material in the informal settlements of the city, and the roots are accessed at one end through rough blockwork structures which emulate this kind of construction. The route through the artwork merges seamlessly from utilitarian human dwellings to a fantastical network of natural spaces.

The exterior structure before the plywood surface was applied. Image Courtesy of MAC USP via

The work finally creates a dual experience of the space which contains it. From the inside it consists of a maze of claustrophobic tunnels; once free, the visitor can see the full extent of the 1,600 square meter structure they have just traveled through.

Screenshot from video
The internal structure. Image Courtesy of MAC USP via
The installation under construction. Image Courtesy of MAC USP via

Image gallery

See allShow less
About this author
Cite: Rory Stott. "Brazilian Artist Builds Labyrinth of Wooden Roots" 05 Jun 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.