Cape Town-Based Museum Named World's Best Public Building

The architecture of the multibillion-rand Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art is racking up awards around the globe.

12/01/2018 11:02 SAST | Updated 12/01/2018 11:02 SAST
RODGER BOSCH via Getty Images
A sculpture by South African artist Nicholas Hlobo dominates the main hall in The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town on September 15, 2017. This museum, the first of its kind on the African continent, was created out of old corn silos in the harbour district.

Wallpaper Magazine, one of the world's most trusted design publications, has named the brand-new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (MOCAA) in Cape Town the "best public building" on earth for 2018.

Designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick and initiated by European philanthropist Joachen Zeitz, the building is literally carved out of the old corn silos that form the primary structure of the museum.

It's just one of the many awards so far garnered by the multibillion-rand structure, which Wallpaper calls a "concrete catacomb of galleries".

Inside Zeitz MOCAA

"Grand gestures define Cape Town's new Zeitz MOCAA. As a much-heralded cultural waypoint, the vast converted grain silos are proving to be a key draw on the city's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Topped by the exclusive Silo Hotel, the new home to Jochen Zeitz's impressive collection of contemporary African art is a concrete catacomb of galleries. Heatherwick Studio has made typically bold strokes at the building's heart, making elaborate cuts into the structure's concrete cylinders to form a towering, quasi-organic atrium," Wallpaper judges said in a statement.

The award is shared with Morocco's Yves Saint Laurent Museum, devoted to the life and work of the legendary Parisian fashion designer.