The V&A Waterfront’s historical grain silo is on its way to becoming the permanent home of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA). DECO toured the site that is being repurposed through a design by Heatherwick Studio.
Built in 1921, and at 57m tall, the Grain Silo building has been a part of the Cape Town’s skyline for almost ninety years and until the turn of the millennium, has been at the heart of the operational life of the city’s waterfront dock- facilitating the collection, sorting, storing and the exportation of much of the country’s grain.
Completed in 1924 by SA Railways and Harbours, it has processed hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat, maize, soya and sorghum. Its location was driven by its connectivity to the docks and the resultant rail infrastructure. So much is the building a principal part of the city’s urban character that it has been heritage listed by the authorities.
The overarching vision for the building is to redevelop and restore it in such a way that brings national and international interest in a manner that breathes new and sustainable commercial and cultural life to the building.
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is a public not-for-profit cultural institution that focuses on collecting, preserving, researching, and exhibiting cutting edge contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora. It is the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art.
The Zeitz Collection acts as the founding collection of the museum. Mark Coetzee is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Zeitz MOCAA.
To find out more about the Zeitz MOCAA, read our article here.