Culture

Africa’s Largest Museum In A Century Is Carved From An Old Silo

The result is an architectural wonder.

The Victoria and Albert (V&A) Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, sits on one of the oldest working harbours in the southern hemisphere, with the iconic Table Mountain as its backdrop.

Now, the ambitious task of transforming one of the site’s disused grain silos into the world’s largest museum dedicated to African contemporary art, has wrapped up.

As it happens, custodians for the V&A Waterfront approached Heatherwick Studio to adapt the old grain silo into a museum at the same time the Zeitz Foundation was seeking a new home for its collection, and the result — the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) — is an architectural marvel.

Dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting 21st century art from Africa and its diaspora, the Zeitz MOCAA is the first museum of its kind. It will also host international exhibitions, develop supporting educational programs, encourage intercultural understanding and guarantee access to all.

Comprised of over 100 galleries spread over nine expansive floors, the museum has been carved straight out of the monumental and historic grain silo complex.

“By providing a platform for the incredibly talented and passionate artists across Africa and beyond, this museum fills a critical gap in the continent’s art scene. I am proud to be part of this journey,” Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize-winner and Zeitz MOCAA Patron, said in a media release.

The museum opens today. Tickets start from $18 ($180 ZAR) per person.

How To Get There

  • Fly into Cape Town International Airport
  • Take the A01 towards Civic Centre
  • Walk 1.9km
  • Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, V&A Waterfront, Silo District

All images courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA