The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Modern Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town will be opening its doors to visitors this Heritage weekend. Highly anticipated this first major museum of contemporary African arts on African soil, situated in the converted grain silos at the Cape Town V&A Waterfront, will be open to visitors on Heritage Weekend, 22 - 25 September 2017 - free of charge.
The nine-storey museum complex is located in Cape Town's historic Grain Silo which next to the Clocktower Shopping Centre at the Cape Town waterfront. Parking is available at the Clocktower Carpark - and all the other V&A Waterfront parking garages nearby.
The Zeitz Museum MOCAA will be open to visitors free of charge 22 - 25 September 2017. The museum will be open after the opening weekend from Wednesdays to Mondays. Tuesdays closed!
The construction of this new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa (MOCAA) is a joint project by visionary Jochen Zeitz and the V&A Waterfront and is supposed to attract more than 500,000 visitors annually to this new entertainment precinct at the V&A Waterfront.
The 57m-tall Grain Silo is a Cape Town heritage structure and was once the centre of the flourishing Cape settlement. The Grain Silo experiences a massive conversion envisaged by London star architect Thomas Heatherwick.
For the realisation of his design, the 42 vertical tubes of the Grain Silo had to be turned into a new building structure. Consequently the concrete tubes had to be cut diagonally to open up the structure and still maintain the general outside look of the silo. Additional features such as the magnificent glass ceiling and huge windows in the upper part of the building were added. The multi-faceted windows will shine the light across the city and attract people even after dark, as the 'living museum' is planned to be open from midday to late at night, as the Executive Director and Chief Curator of the new 'Museum of Contemporary Art Africa', Mark Coetzee, shared on a Cape Town Creative Week tour during the construction phase in 2014. This mammoth project is certain to transform Cape Town's V&A Waterfront in the near future.
The Zeitz MOCAA will be the largest museum of contemporary art on the African continent. The new museum complex will not only house exhibitions from local artists and international travelling exhibitions, but also be an entertainment complex for locals and visitors alike.
The whole Zeitz museum complex will comprise over 9,500 square metres of which 6,000 square metres will be dedicated to cutting-edge art exhibitions. The Zeitz Museum will house over 80 separate galleries and will display the best of the local and international arts from the year 2000 onwards. One floor will be dedicated to educational purposes and have 16 education centres. The educational programme will start in 2018. The museum will also house the private collection of Jochen Zeitz, who has built his collection 'specifically with the goal to create an internationally relevant public contemporary art museum in Africa.'
Numerous restaurants, coffeeshops, clubs and a public plaza will complement the new future entertainment district at the V&A Waterfront. Here you will also find among the many designer stores also a Lindt Chocolate Studio, a brand-new Virgin Active gym and the luxurious Silo Hotel.
Over the last two years, the museum already had a dedicated arts space at the V&A Waterfront with the MOCAA Pavilion which was located in the Alfred Basis across the small Bascule bridge which also leads to the Cape Grace Hotel. The small pavilion of this non-profit cultural institution already attracted high numbers of visitors as more than 198,000 interested tourists and locals (which account for more than 60% of the total visitors) have visited the fascinating exhibitions at the pavilion over the first seven months after opening in 2014. This high figure is even more stunning, considering that the Natural History Museum in Cape Town's Company Gardens has been the most visited museum of all museums welcoming around 35,000 visitors annually before the arrival of the MOCAA, according to Mark Coetzee.
See difference as valuable and not as threatening.'
Andrew Putter - South African artist
With the Zeitz Foundation, German entrepreneur and philanthropist Jochen Zeitz intends to 'create and support sustainable, ecologically and socially responsible projects and destinations around the world to achieve lang-lasting impact and sustainability.' The initiatives of the Zeitz Foundation, such as the 'Long Run Initiative' are based on the holistic balance of the 4 C's (Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce) and support intercultural dialogues and the implementation of Global Ecosphere Retreats (GER) standards while building sustainable businesses. The Long Run philosophy 'is an approach to life geared at acting today for a better tomorrow.' Read more about the responsible tourism initiatives of the Zeitz Foundation
Images on this page: Iwan Bann/Designboom and Zeitz Foundation, own images