Zeitz Museum. Zeitz MOCAA Museum of Contemporary Art Africa by Heatherwick Studio
The Zeitz Museum is a precious treasure chest created with the ambitious intention of presenting and safeguarding the largest collection of contemporary African art starting from the early twenty-first century. Built in the heart of Cape Town on the Victoria & Alfred waterfront, an area packed with historical references, industrial archeology and typical buildings, this cultural catalyst is the result of an extraordinary modification project which was entrusted to the London Heatherwick studio. It is a genuine conversion process which has been applied to a historical industrial complex used for grain storage (in operation from the 1920s up to the early 1990s) consisting of a single tower building and 42 cylindrical silos of about 52 meters in height. In keeping with the historically iconographic elements, the work involved the creation of a device that was adapted to the context through a design based on the idea of a new distribution system to be inserted in the heart of the building.
The creation of an atrium which upsets the traditional linear layout of the cylindrical elements and which was conceived as a genuine work of art carved out between the concrete walls, has established a series of subtraction operations from which it is possible to determine a new polarity in the space, characterized by an unexpected sense of verticality and glimpses of an idea of beauty that is both hard and sacred at the same time. This nine-story temple dedicated to art culminates with a landmark in the form of the tower building that is clad in a structural glass system and which takes on the appearance of a magical kaleidoscope, thereby standing out even more against the surrounding backdrop.
PROJECT Zeitz MOCAA Museum of Contemporary Art Africa ARCHITECT Heatherwick Studio LOCATION Cape Town, South Africa YEAR 2017 PHOTO Iwan Baan AUTHOR: Maria Gelvi
HEATHERWICK STUDIO IS A TEAM OF 180 PROBLEM SOLVERS DEDICATED TO MAKING THE PHYSICAL WORLD AROUND US BETTER FOR EVERYONE. BASED OUT OF A COMBINED WORKSHOP AND DESIGN STUDIO IN CENTRAL LONDON, THEY CREATE BUILDINGS, SPACES, MASTER-PLANS, OBJECTS AND INFRASTRUCTURE. FOCUSING ON LARGE SCALE PROJECTS IN CITIES ALL OVER THE WORLD, THEY PRIORITISE THOSE WITH THE GREATEST POSITIVE SOCIAL IMPACT.