Hot on the heels of an eye-catching grain silo-turned-apartment building opening in Johannesburg, South Africa, the city of Cape Town will soon have its own surreal silo conversion, from British designer Thomas Heatherwick no less. Heatherwick Studios recently unveiled a proposal to carve a cluster of 42 concrete tubes in Cape Town's Victoria and Alfred Waterfront into a museum of contemporary African art. Explaining the plan, which was presented in late February during the design Indaba 2014 conference, Heatherwick said that "rather than strip out the evidence of the building's industrial heritage, we wanted to find a way to enjoy and celebrate it. We could either fight a building made of concrete tubes or enjoy its tube-iness."
Enjoy its tube-iness they will, if the renderings are anything to go by. Working beyond the fact that the building currently lacks any "grand spaces ready to be repurposed," Heatherwick Studio proposed that a large elliptical section be hollowed out from the middle of the nine-story structure, which will become an atrium lit by the glass-topped silos overhead. At the ground level, other chambers will be converted to house elevators and exhibition galleries.
Inside the still-visible vestiges of the structure's original purpose, which will have layers of render and paint removed to expose the raw concrete underneath, the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa will house the art collection of entrepreneur Jochen Zeitz. For more work from Heatherwick, get to know the huge spiky sculpture he's creating for NYC's Hudson Yards and the addition he's designing for Miami's Versailles Hotel.
· Reimagining History: Heatherwick Studio Designs The Historic Grain Silo [Elle Decor]
· Yes, Some Students Live in Shipping Containers Atop Old Silos [Curbed National]
· All Thomas Heatherwick coverage [Curbed NY; Curbed Miami]
· All Cape Town, South Africa coverage [Curbed National]