Saint-Gobain Gyproc has supplied all the walls and ceilings for the repurposing of the old Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront, which will soon open its doors to reveal the new Zeitz MOCAA.

The transformation of the old Grain Silo complex at the V&A Waterfront into a unique, cutting-edge space, earmarked to house the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), is nearing completion.

Zeitz MOCAA is a new, public, not-for-pro¬fit cultural institution focused on being the ¬first major museum in Africa, and a leading museum in the world, that is dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, as well as to the enrichment and inspiration of the public through outreach programmes, academic support and supplementary tuition.

The Zeitz Collection is the most extensive and representative collection of African contemporary art in Africa, gifted in its entirety by ex-Puma chief executive officer and chairman, Jochen Zeitz. The collection will be showcased in 9 500m2 of custom-designed space spread over nine floors, of which 6 000m2 will be dedicated exhibition space.

Old grain silo artfully repurposed GYPROC2

Dealing with the tubes  
Development on the building started in the first quarter of 2014, with internationally acclaimed designer, Thomas Heatherwick, embracing the opportunity to redesign and repurpose the interior of this historically significant building. Built in 1921, and at 57m tall, the Grain Silo was once the tallest building on the Cape Town skyline.

His biggest challenge was to reimagine the 42,33m high concrete tubes, each with a diameter of 5,5m, with no open space to experience the volume from within and create a functional space that will still pay tribute to the original industrial design.

Making space while respecting the building’s tubular design, an elliptical section was hollowed out from the centre of the building to create a grand atrium that is filled with light from a glass roof. Some silo chambers were also carved open at ground level for exhibition galleries, while others accommodate elevators.

Creating the interior space
Saint-Gobain Gyproc is supplying all the walls and ceilings for the project. Through extensive research and development, these building products have been developed to improve sound, temperature, comfort and well-being in buildings, as well as facilitate visual benefits and economic savings.

Set to officially open to the public in February 2017, the Zeitz MOCAA is estimated to attract a minimum average of two million visitors a year.

Saint-Gobain Gyproc
Tel: 011 345 5300


Caption 1: Construction on the Grain Silo, which will house the Zeitz MOCAA, and its adjacent building.

Caption 2: The tubular Grain Silo didn’t have any open floor space and some of the 42 tubes had to be carved out to create a grand atrium.