The Sparrow Tree

Listen what you see

Team: Alex Axinte, Cristi Borcan
Graphics panel ‘The Sparrows Tree’:
Anca Benera şi Arnold Esteban
Inspiration story
The Sparrows Tree‘: Dorel Ruşti, Mariana Celac, Florin Mihăilescu
Audio voice story:
Cătălin Rulea
University Square, Bucharest
October 2010

Bucharest Architecture Annual / 2009 - Design category - Nomination.

The installation was part of the Ars Telefonica project, curated by Alina Şerban, Anca Benera, Arnold Esteban and Cătălin Rulea, which took place between 23 and 27 September 2008 at Centre for Visual Introspection. (

The installation was placed in Piaţa Universităţii, against an urban setting bearing the numerous physical marks of the interests taken in the public space: lighting pillars bending under the weight of the cables, metal fences hesitantly thrust in the broken sidewalk, recurrent traffic signs, mail boxes or flower and newspaper stands. Among all these objects, a telephone cabin is concealed to the point of transparence.  0119


We put up an OSB structure, like a red cape enveloping the phone booth, turning it into a temporary stopover: a platform with a place where to sit, to listen to the city and observe it. Once you entered the pavilion geometrically delineated in the midst of the urban congestion, you could listen, at the still operational public telephone, to the history of a name - The Sparrow Tree, which referred, in the past, to the area around the University Fountain, a story forgotten now.

We thus asserted the need to recover and document the minor memory, which also pertains to a place laden with monuments and major emotional symbols, as well as the need to promote a new attitude with respect to design in the public space.

031copacul cu pasari05_eng06_eng


The structure became, in turn, a shelter for homeless children, a place of rest for the beggars hanging around the Magheru Boulevard traffic lights, a place where the passers-by can meet, have a chat or stop for a while.