Arch for Arch

Design Indaba’s tribute to one of SA’s beloved freedom fighters, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

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Arch for Arch is a commissioned architectural structure that commemorates the work and life of one of South Africa’s most celebrated figures, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The project celebrates its namesake Tutu (lovingly nicknamed “the Arch”), and its design is meant to be a physical representation of his strength and resilient humanity.

A one-to-one prototype of the Arch was unveiled at the finale of Design Indaba Conference 2017 by its creators Snøhetta co-founder Craig Dykers and Johannesburg-based architect Thomas Chapman. The structure consists of 14 individual arched beams of wood, together forming a dome.

The wooden arches were bent by Croatian boat builder Dario Farcic in Johannesburg. Each strand of wood bears a single line from the South African Constitution’s preamble, signifying the founding principles on which the country is built.

A version of the Arch for Arch structure has been installed near St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town and launched on 7 October 2017 to coincide with Tutu’s 86th birthday. Another will be installed at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on 10 December 2017 to coincide with the 21st anniversary of the South African Constitution. The Arch for Arch project was completed with the generous help of Design Indaba sponsor Liberty.

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