Zeitz MOCAA

  • © Hilton Teper
  • ©
  • ©
  • © Marc Hoberman
  • © Marc Hoberman
  • © Antonia Steyn
  • © Antonia Steyn
  • © Mark Williams
  • © Mark Williams
  • © Mark Williams
  • © Iwan Baan
  • © Iwan Baan
  • © Iwan Baan
  • © Iwan Baan
  • © Iwan Baan
  • © Iwan Baan
  • © Iwan Baan
  • © Iwan Baan

Special Award

National Panel Special Award

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Award

Region

South Africa

Local Authority Area

Not in UK/ROI

Information about this scheme

Zeitz MOCAA makes use of a disused grain silo and through the inventive use of concrete-cutting techniques as well as traditional craftsmanship has been adapted into a new home for a not-for-profit institution, dedicated to contemporary art from Africa with a mission to provide economically viable access to art to the public. As a listed building complex originally built in 1921 the transformation of the grain silo has retained the spirit of its original industrial purpose and remains an iconic part of Cape Town’s harbour front. The main challenge of converting the original tightly packed concrete tubes into spaces for displaying art has been achieved by developing a concept to carve out an atrium, like a vaulted cathedral, to form the museum’s heart. Scooped from the building’s centre, it provides access to the gallery floors that are organised around the central atrium. Realising the concept of carved tubes was technically challenging. Modelled on a single grain of corn, the rounded shape was scaled up to fill the 27-metre high volume and then translated into thousands of coordinates, each defining a point within the silo’s tubes. Mapped out physically with nails, the brittle concrete tubes only 170mm thick were then lined with inner sleeves of reinforced concrete following the atrium shape. New pillow-glazed windows have been inserted into the existing geometry of the tower’s upper section, which bulge outward as if gently inflated. By night, this transforms the building’s upper storeys into a glowing lantern in the harbour. The Centre for Education Zeitz MOCAA has been established to develop programmes that explain and make art accessible to children and leaners, running educational tours and workshops. In addition, the Centre for Education have partnered with the Lalela Afterschool Programme to provide weekly art classes for 284 at-risk youth (age 6 – 18) with the aim of sparking creative thinking in participants and awakening an entrepreneurial spirit. This after school programme currently services 9 schools in Cape Town, and works with youth during the time of the day when they are likely to be most vulnerable. Zeitz MOCAA has quickly become a leading institution in the city with the success of the project measured in its ongoing popularity for both tourists and locals. Visitor numbers have exceeded expectations, with over 400,000 people visiting in the first year and boasting 10,000 members in the local membership programme. 

Credits

Architect

Heatherwick Studio

Client

V&A Waterfront

Executive Architect

VDMMA

Executive Architect

Rick Brown Associates

Executive Architect

Jacobs Parker

Project Manager

Mace

Structural Engineer

Arup

Structural Engineer

Sutherland

Fa├žade Engineering

Arup

Quantity Surveyor

MLC

Other

Arup (Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer)

Primary Use Class

Class D1e - Museums