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Location Port Elizabeth Harbour, South Africa
Size 75m high

architecture - Freedom Statue competition entry The Essence of the Tower: ‘One shape in many forms’. The tower is in the shape of a distorted cone that eludes a single meaning and lends itself to a variety of interpretations by different observers.

“When I walked to the voting station, my mind dwelt on the heroes who had fallen so that I might be where I was that day, the men and women who had made the ultimate sacrifice for a cause that was now finally succeeding…I thought of our great African heroes, who had made great sacrifices so that millions of South Africans could be voting on that very day.” (Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, pg 742)

Like democracy, The Tower of Freedom demands citizen participation. This participation starts with descending a ramp that leads the visitor underground beneath the quay to a chamber, then up a spiral ramped walkway that ascends the inner core of the structure.

The spiral reflects life and continuity; it suggests that the long walk to freedom is ongoing and requires continuous effort. It is a symbol of the struggle against apartheid and the sense of justice and commitment to the people of this country which created the momentum for all the heroes of the struggle. This ramped walkway is a space for all to reflect on these heroes.

The urban intervention that symbolises the journey of freedom, moving our democracy into the future, takes the shape of the Tower of Freedom. A tower is a symbol of triumph and optimism. The verticality of the monument will connect its presence to the city's inhabitants, and to its visitors, whether they arrive by road, air or ocean.

3D images by hybridvigour

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