V&A Announces Local Partners For Grain Silo Museum Construction

The V&A Waterfront’s historical grain silos took a step forward to becoming the permanent home of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA). At the official ground breaking today the V&A announced the local partners that will work alongside renowned British designer Thomas Heatherwick’s team in the R500 million transformation.


Jochen Zeitz, David Green and Thomas Heatherwick during the GrainSilo Sod Turning Ceremony

In a first for Africa, Zeitz MOCAA will introduce Category A climate control in the galleries. The technology has been endorsed by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and is used in internationally renowned galleries such as Pompdiou Metz, Pulitzer and Paul Klee. The technology offers the highest level of protection to a collection and is the most advanced climate control technology available at present. It will allow MOCAA to exhibit any piece of art, no matter how fragile.

WBHO has been appointed as the lead construction contractor. For the past year and a half, they’ve had to test a complex construction process, as well as the feasibility of the design elements in this process.
MACE is the Principal Agent and Project Manager. Sutherland and Arup are the appointed structural engineers and Francis Archer from Arup London will lend his expertise to the technically challenging project. Archer was instrumental in the production of the Garden Bridge project over the Thames River in London, the new Scottish Parliament building and the impressive Hause für Musik und Musiktheater (MUMUTH) in Austria. MLC has been appointed as the quantity surveyor.

Van Der Merwe Miszewski (VDMMA), Rick Brown Associates (RBA) and Jacobs Parker are the three local architectural firms who will assist in bringing the innovative project to life, with Jacobs Parker responsible for the Museum fit out.

WBHO, MACE, Van Der Merwe Miszewski and Rick Brown Associates have all previously worked together as the team behind the 6 star Green Star SA Design rated No. 1 Silo and the 4 star Green Star rated No. 2 Silo buildings, adjacent to the Grain Silo complex.

“This is a particularly momentous occasion for us as the dream we nurtured for so long is finally leaving the drawing board to become a reality. We are confident that we have the right team in place to bring the silo to life again and do justice to our vision” said David Green, V&A Waterfront CEO.

Construction on the Grain Silo complex is due to be completed by late 2016. Zeitz MOCAA is expected to take occupancy in November 2016, with the museum officially opening to the public in February 2017.

Leave a Comment