The Zeitz Museum in Cape Town is seriously shaking things up! Talk about abandoning the status quo! They’ve created a truly authentic vibe for every art guru to relish in. The old Grain Silo Complex at the V&A Waterfront has been reimagined as a fantastic art museum.

All of the roughness its age and history has given it is perfectly preserved and incorporated into the design. This not-for-profit museum also exhibits, preserves and collects contemporary, twenty-first-century art pieces.

Why the grain silo? 

The V&A Waterfront wished to honour the history of the grain silo, acknowledging it as a historic landmark. The ideal use for it was debated, and everyone involved felt it was important to give it a purpose that would reflect the people, and that could be enjoyed by the people. This building was chosen to become the first major museum dedicated to contemporary, African art.

The project’s vision was to create a space that could exhibit the contemporary art of Africa and what better way to do this? The building has captured the essence of Africa, allowing the art pieces that are being exhibited to resonate with the building, creating a harmony of like-mindedness and positive collaboration. The project succeeded in doing more than simply repurposing a building and making it “work” for art, it created a museum that exists completely in the unique African context.

What to expect when you visit 

The mammoth building towers an impressive 57 metres over the rest of the city, making it equivalent in height to a 16 story building (although there are only 11 floors). 

With artists like Athi-Patra Ruga and Kendell Geers displaying thought-provoking art, the journey through the museum is quite awe-inspiring. Kendell Geers’ “Hanging Piece” is described the artist herself: “Suspended on red chords, like spiritualised veins from heaven, they are at peace in a passive meditation.” Referring to the bricks that hang off the ground, the artist manages to capture the serenity of each block succinctly. 

Athi-Patra Ruga’s “The Knight of the Long Knives” is a typical display of the playful visual energy he is known for. His colour usage breaks out of the norm, challenge the stereotypes usually imposed on respective genders. Locally born in Umtata in KZN, his work is now collected privately, publicly, and displayed in museums all around the world. The colours, the use of brightness, and the unapologetic boldness of this art piece makes it absolutely irresistible to the eye.

Redesign LOVES it!

Redesign was incredibly excited to have the opportunity to visit this fantastic work of art. It was SO amazing! So inspiring and just plain awesome. 

The Zeitz Museum is magnificent and has so many amazing features, including videos. The building itself is a piece of art and something everyone should experience. We just loved everything about it! 

Want to realise your own art in the form a well-designed building? Read about how we made an hotelier’s interior dreams come true…