a monument for archbishop desmond tutu has been unveiled in the south african city of cape town. designed by snøhetta and johannesburg-based local studio, in collaboration with design indaba, the structure marks the site where tutu began many of his anti-apartheid protests. standing as a symbol of peace and democracy, the permanent wooden pavilion forms a new public space in the city’s downtown.

snohetta desmond tutu monument
the structure marks the site where tutu began many of his anti-apartheid protests
image © david southwood (main image © design indaba)

 

 

snøhetta and local studio’s design is made from larch wood — a durable, resistant, and tactile material that invites people to interact with it. named ‘the arch for arch’, the structure consists of 14 intertwined strands of bent wood, representing the 14 chapters of the south african constitution. together the wooden elements inscribe a globe, celebrating archbishop tutu’s role as a unifying figure for the international peace movement. at 9 meters tall, or nearly 3 stories high, the scale of the arch envelops visitors as they pass beneath it.

snohetta desmond tutu monument
the structure stands as a symbol of peace and democracy
image © david southwood

 

 

‘the arch for arch is more than a monument for archbishop tutu,’ says snøhetta. ‘it builds on the legacy of south africa’s foremost campaigner for democracy to create a platform for public participation in upholding the constitution. the arch will stand as a permanent tribute to what was sacrificed in the pursuit of democracy, and the vital necessity of protecting these rights for generations to come.’

snohetta desmond tutu monument
the permanent wooden pavilion forms a new public space in the city’s downtown
image © david southwood

 

 

the first arch was unveiled on the occasion of archbishop desmond tutu’s 86th birthday on october 7, 2017. a second smaller arch is now located on constitution hill in johannesburg, where the constitutional court is located. its unveiling took place december 10 to coincide with the 21st anniversary of the country’s constitution.

snohetta desmond tutu monument
the design is made from larch wood — a durable, resistant, and tactile material
image © david southwood

snohetta desmond tutu monument
the structure consists of 14 intertwined strands of bent wood
image © design indaba

snohetta desmond tutu monument
together the wooden elements inscribe a globe
image © david southwood

snohetta desmond tutu monument
the monument is 9 meters tall, or nearly 3 stories high
image © david southwood

snohetta desmond tutu monument
the scale of the arch envelops visitors as they pass beneath it
image © david southwood

 

 

project info:

 

architect: snøhetta and local studio
commission organizer: design indaba
civil engineering: hatch
structural engineering: the structural workshop
timber contractors: swissline design
wetworks, paving & electrical contractors: smart civils

  • This is a pretty cool and beautifully apt monument to one of the really authentic freedom fighters against apartheid in South Africa! Bravo Arch!

    beachcomber says:

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