Architect: WHIM (Rotterdam)
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Mandela on the Mountain is the title of an ambitious project to commemorate the iconic South African leader’s 95th birthday – in the style of the giant US president sculptures of Mount Rushmore.
Dutch-based company WHIM is behind the scheme for the educational and heritage centre celebrating the country’s former president and his battle against apartheid – with the building itself fashioned in the likeness of Mandela’s head.
A location near Table Mountain in District Six, Cape Town, has been initially chosen.
The company’s Aart Bak explained the origin of the project: “Three years ago I was in South Africa for the World Cup and I was taking a tour of Cape Town on a double-decker bus.
“I sat down on a rock, looked out across the city and the mountain, as I took in the view.
“It was then that I had the idea for something worthy of commemoration of the life and achievements of one of the most important figures of our time.”
The initial concept is for a building 30m wide and 60m tall on the side of a mountain overlooking the city and coast – including Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned.
The structure would be visible from across the city. showing the face of the hero of his nation to the world.
Architect Bak said he wanted the structure to inspire and educate the coming generations about Mandela and his fight for human rights and equality and ensure that his struggle and ultimate triumph would never be forgotten and the story of a South Africa reborn would go down in history to inspire those who want to make a difference and benefit humanity.