Artist Uses Repurposed Wood To Build Giant Root-like Tunnels You Can Explore From The Inside


What would it be like to walk through a tree trunk? Henrique Oliveira is a Brazilian artist that has crafted the opportunity for people to do just this.

His works of art can be viewed in many locations around the world, from Washington DC to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he lives and works.

One of his most elaborate displays is known as

“Transarquitetonica”. For this masterpiece he used recycled wood to build a network of tree roots that fill an entire room.

The best part is that you can actually walk through the display to explore the re-created tree from the inside out.

Wood originates from trees, but once used to make homes, paper, and other materials wood losses its natural appearance. Oliveira’s goal according to him is to take wood that has been “…used by society and discharged.

And I take it back and I rebuild forms there again, creating true nature forms.” He goes on to explain that it’s all about bringing the natural form of the wood back to life again.

Oliveira grew up in small town with no idea where the future would take him. When he was 16 he moved to Sao Paulo, where he would eventually attend art school.root-system-tunnel-transarquitetonica-henrique-oliveira-4

While enrolled at the University of Sao Paulo Oliveira suddenly got interested in the environment, taking a second look at all of the old things people use and then discard.root-system-tunnel-transarquitetonica-henrique-oliveira-3

He became especially interested in what is known as tapumes wood, a type of wood that is recycled and broken down into geometric shapes for construction purposes. Each unique strip of tapumes wood has a dynamic design all its own, within which Oliveira sees a world of textures and stories.root-system-tunnel-transarquitetonica-henrique-oliveira-1

When the University of Sao Paulo offered Oliveira a huge space to construct Transarquitetonica he was excited to make everything about it stand out to the people who visited by speaking to all of the senses including sights, smells, and touch.root-system-tunnel-transarquitetonica-henrique-oliveira-11

At the beginning of Transarquitetonica’s construction, it was a complex metal framework that tangled together throughout one large white room. Once the frame was ready to go, Oliveira used recycled wood from around the city to create borders on the inside and outside of the metal frame.root-system-tunnel-transarquitetonica-henrique-oliveira-10

Each small slab of wood appears unique, some more worn and decayed than others. Together they make a very impactful appearance as they are pieced together to look like one piece of wood that has a variety of different colors and tones.root-system-tunnel-transarquitetonica-henrique-oliveira-9

Walking inside of the indoor display is just as spectacular as seeing it from the outside. While Transarquitetonica is made to be a natural display, playing heritage to what trees really look like, it gives you a unique opportunity that doesn’t exist out in nature.root-system-tunnel-transarquitetonica-henrique-oliveira-8

You can actually explore the inside, and walk through the insides of the tree. This display offers a labyrinth of tunnels you can venture through. The floor, walls, and roof all constructed from the same slabs of wood, just like the outside. Only instead of a tree you sort of feel like you are walking through a cave.

Many of Oliveira’s other works are displayed around the world and also use tapumes wood to resemble trees. Some works are colorful and others are rich natural browns resembling real tree trunks.root-system-tunnel-transarquitetonica-henrique-oliveira-7

Each one is incredible, not only in itself, but how Oliveira uses each indoor space to make the tree somehow look even more natural. His trees look like they are really growing out of the walls, and the trunks wrap tightly together, weaving here and there. All of this makes the tree displays appear naturally placed, growing wildly as they please.

You can witness Transarquitetonica with your own eyes until the end of November 2014 at the Musea de Arte Contemporanea da Universidade in Sao Paulo.root-system-tunnel-transarquitetonica-henrique-oliveira-2