Snøhetta and Johannesburg-based Local Studio unveiled “The Arch of Arch,” a 30-feet tall wooden archway in Cape Town, South Africa. Featuring 14 woven Larch wood strands each representing the 14 chapters of South Africa’s constitution, the monument has been designed to honor Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Instead of materials like stone or concrete which convey messages of permanence and solidity, Snøhetta chose the Larch wood for its warmth which will invite the visitors to interact with the structure in a friendlier way. The material’s high durability and weather-resistance will allow the structure to age gracefully.
“A traditional arch is supported by opposing forces pushing against one another, held together by a keystone,” Snøhetta said. “These structural properties emerged as a core concept for the design, where the Arch stands as a metaphor for the integrity of the country’s democracy whose conceptual keystone is the Constitution of South Africa. Together the arching wooden elements inscribe a globe, celebrating Archbishop Tutu’s role as a unifying figure for the international peace movement.”