Camilo Rebelo installs "trojan egg" inside Porto's city hall

Portuguese architect Camilo Rebelo installed this wooden egg large enough for several people to hide inside beneath the vaulted ceilings of the Porto city hall atrium (+ slideshow).

Trojan Egg, Porto by Camilo Rebelo

Described by Camilo Rebelo as a "trojan egg", a reference to the mythical wooden horse that the Greek army hid in to enter the city of Troy, the pod is intended as a place for silence and contemplation.

Trojan Egg, Porto by Camilo Rebelo

The architect first designed the structure – called Ovo, the Portuguese word for egg – for a client living in the Swiss Alps. Installed in his basement, it was used to display an artwork by Portuguese sculptor Rui Chafes.

Trojan Egg, Porto by Camilo Rebelo

More recently, the structure was recreated in Porto to accompany an exhibition of Chafes' work – comprising 33 egg-shaped pieces of marble and iron.

Trojan Egg, Porto by Camilo Rebelo

The juxtaposition of the two projects was designed to help visitors to the exhibition visualise themselves inhabiting one of the tiny sculptures.

Trojan Egg, Porto by Camilo Rebelo

"The purpose of this wooden egg is to create a void – to unveil a new dimension and through it potentiate mystery," explained Rebelo, whose past projects include a museum with a carved stone facade.

Trojan Egg, Porto by Camilo Rebelo

"Mystery is a condition that is very close to disappearing from our civilisation," he said. "This value is, for us, one of the main reasons of life and the egg is the dimension we choose to express it."

Trojan Egg, Porto by Camilo Rebelo

The egg measured seven metres wide, four metres deep and three metres high, and was constructed using CNC-cut timber. Its exterior was then coated with a thin layer of concrete, leaving a completely smooth surface.

Trojan Egg, Porto by Camilo Rebelo

Inside, an integrated bench created seating all around the perimeter, while a central ceiling light gave off a turquoise glow.

Trojan Egg, Porto by Camilo Rebelo

The exhibition opened in October and the egg remained in place until the start of this week.

Trojan Egg, Porto by Camilo Rebelo

Photography is by Nelson Garrido.