Rhizome House

Shining bright on nature’s path

Created for the Amsterdam Light Festival, the Rhizome House design responds to the festival’s theme of biomimicry, taking geometrical inspiration from nature’s rhizome structures and their root-like, self-supporting and interconnected nature.

Starting from the investigative process of bio-construction and why animals build, the man-made design was inspired by the interconnected systems found in natural organisms. Illuminated within a steel framework that recalls the construction of Dutch canal houses, Rhizome House serves as a synthesis of the type of structures animals build – homes, traps and displays, forming a thought-provoking, fun and interactive connection between all three.

UK & Europe
Category Urban Art
Year 2016
Size -
With its linkages and connections, Rhizome House is the embodiment of the crossroads between art, science, humanity and nature.
Rhizome house on display, drawing passers-by into its network of varied spaces and light displays.
An interactive installation that encourages dialogue and fun.
Responding to the theme of biomimicry, the design was inspired by the interconnected systems found in natural organisms.

Construction of the rhizome house is an exercise in digital fabrication. Both the geometry, and assembly sequence, were scripted utilising Grasshopper for Rhinoceros – a visual programming within a 3D computer-aided design application – allowing multiple iterations and rapid prototyping to optimize parameters like structural stress, perforation, and seam geometry. A self-supporting structure in itself, the rhizomes are then further anchored to the dock using the frame of the canal houses, to brace and ballast the installation from traditionally strong winter Dutch winds.

Photographs by Janus van den Eijnden

Specialist Services

Integrated services provided for this project.


2018 Melbourne Design Awards, Silver
Rhizome House
2017 Singapore Institute of Architects Architectural Design Award – Special Category (Overseas)
Rhizome House

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