Ouroborus Buildings: Artist Loops Infinite Skyscrapers Back on Themselves

What would architecture look like if it had no beginning or end, no ground floor as starting point nor rooftop terminus? Artist Vasco Mourao explores exactly that question in his series Ouroboros, so named after the mythical dragon/serpent forever eating its own tail.

spiral skyscraper

plywood drawing

The Barcelona-based artist (an architect by training) illustrates his impossible-sounding seems on curved and angular cuts of plywood shaped into loops.

looped architecture

detail image

His work indirectly addresses a key transition point in the history of architecture as well — a time when concrete, steel and glass were first combined to make taller structure possible but before the Modernists rendered these buildings sleek and simple.

circular cut

unfinished design

Like early skyscrapers (featuring stretched Gothic decor and wood-inspired details), his designs extrapolate conventional materials and decorative approaches skyward. Their aesthetic is also reminiscent of places like Kowloon Walled City, where densification drove particularly strange connections between different structures.

deep loop

work in progress


Meanwhile, Mourao also draws other cityscapes on different surfaces as well, from large-scale surrealistic murals to the bottoms of skateboards, often reprising similar themes of infinity-evoking architecture.