The Structure of the monument design
The system of shuttering consisted of vertical metal strong backs, joined by horizontal sections of piping curvature. This structure was lined with marine plywood for the concrete face. Special wooden moulds were constructed from models made to scale for use where the curves became too sharp.
After the shuttering had been removed, all inner and outer concrete surfaces were finished off with pneumatic hammers. A 2mm-3mm thick layer was removed. This slow procedure continued throughout the period of building.
Building operations lasted two years. Every effort was put in to preserve this monument as a timeless structure for future generations. It was constructed from granite on location and from concrete, hammered in an effort to imitate the texture of the neighbouring rocks.
The result is fascinating; a structure of handmade granite which, with its curving lines, its rounded surfaces, and its ever-changing interplay of light and shade, attempts to produce an image of the refinement of our language. In so doing giving in sculpture expression to N.P. van Wyk Louw’s words, ‘something which is not nothing’.
Flight over the Afrikaans language monument