Commemorative Arch for Archbishop Desmond Tutu


desmond-tutu-archDesign Indaba has revealed that it has commissioned a sculptural tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of South Africa’s most beloved sons.

Affectionately referred to as “The Arch”, Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu is recognised worldwide for his tireless work in building the new South Africa, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

The arch, made by the Oslo and New York-based award-winning architecture studio Snøhetta and Johannesburg-based Local Studio architect Thomas Chapman, was financed by Design Indaba sponsor Liberty.

It is constructed from 14 arcing strands of wood, each bearing a quote from one of the 14 lines in the South African Constitution’s preamble.  Set to be unveiled on 7th October 2017 – Tutu’s birthday – The Arch for Arch will stand next to St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, where Tutu served as Archbishop.  A prototype of the structure is also due to be installed permanently at The Constitutional Court in Johannesburg.

“Where the triumphant arches of Europe stand tall and imposing, the Arch for Arch is an experiential piece, allowing anyone to walk through it or seek the shelter it provides. It is not a confrontational structure, although its very presence will serve as a strong reminder of the importance of the Here, where something beautiful is born at the intersection of design and art and activism, when design invokes empathy, and when the urgency to create something new reflects the hopes and aspirations of many, then we have something to truly celebrate. In a world where borders are increasingly being fortified and walls – both literally and metaphorical – are being built between peoples, the Arch for Arch project is a radiant example of work that is made possible by international collaboration and openness.”

Source: Design Indaba

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