Arch for ‘The Arch’

A sculptural tribute to honour Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will be unveiled next to St George’s Cathedral later this year.

Commissioned by Design Indaba, the wooden arch is made by Oslo and New York-based architecture firm Snøhetta and Johannesburg-based architect Thomas Chapman.

The arch project celebrates its namesake, Archbishop Tutu, who is affectionately called “The Arch”.

A prototype of the arch was unveiled at the Design Indaba Conference in March.

According to the Design Indaba website, the structure consists of 14 individual arched beams forming a dome.

The wooden arches were bent by Croatian boat builder Dario Farcic in Johannesburg.

According to the website, each strand of wood bears a single line from the constitution’s preamble, signifying South Africa’s founding principles.

The mobile structure will be unveiled at the entrance to the Company’s Garden on Saturday October 7 to coincide with Archbishop Tutu’s 86th birthday.

Rav Naidoo, Design Indaba’s founder, told CapeTowner the arch would honour the life of Archbishop Tutu, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, and celebrate the country’s constitution.

He said the arch was planned to be there for five years, but could become a permanent feature if supported by the public.

Mr Naidoo would not say how much the project cost, only that it was being sponsored by an insurance company and that another sculpture would be installed at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg later this year to mark the 21st anniversary of the constitution.