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Snøhetta and Local Studio Unveil Wooden Archway Honoring Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa

12:00 - 8 March, 2018
Snøhetta and Local Studio Unveil Wooden Archway Honoring Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa, Sited between South Africa’s National Parliament and St. George’s Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Arch frames the public entrance to a landscaped promenade known as the Company’s Garden, which boasts many of the city’s cultural institutions. Image © David Southwood
Sited between South Africa’s National Parliament and St. George’s Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Arch frames the public entrance to a landscaped promenade known as the Company’s Garden, which boasts many of the city’s cultural institutions. Image © David Southwood

The Arch for Arch, an intertwined wooden archway honoring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has debuted in downtown Cape Town, South Africa on a site near Parliament where Tutu held many of his anti-Apartheid protests.

Designed by Snøhetta and Johannesburg-based Local Studio, in collaboration with Design Indaba and Hatch engineers, the Arch for Arch consists of 14 woven strands of Larch wood, representing the 14 chapters of South Africa’s constitution. Reaching nearly 30 feet tall (9 meters), the structure invite visitors to pass through and be reminded of the location’s prominent role in their country’s history on their way to the Company’s Garden, one of the most popular public spaces in the city since its establishment in 1652.

© David Southwood © David Southwood Pictured at far right: Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the 2017 Design Indaba Conference, where the design was first unveiled. Image Courtesy of Design Indaba The Arch is formed of 14 strands of Siberian Larch wood, a highly durable and resistant material that will weather gracefully over time, taking on the elements of its surroundings. The warmth of wood was intentionally selected to lend the Arch an intimate, tactile quality, that invites people to interact with the structure in a way that differs from the conventional materials people might expect for a memorial structure, such as concrete, steel, or stone. Image © David Southwood + 13