Thursday Salute to Originals: The Zeitz Museum
Isn’t ironic how some of the best artwork is the architecture that houses art? Yes, we’re talking about museums! But not just any museum; The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, to be exact, which has taken on a pretty “tubular” new shape.
Heatherwick Studio transformed Capetown’s tallest building into the Zeitz MOCAA, which holds plenty of historical significance. The now-80 gallery spaces used to be 42-grain silos that once held maize from all over South Africa. The old holding tubes were transformed into various circular shapes that allow for beautiful lighting and space for galleries – and quite a bit of contemplation.
The 20,000 square foot museum space was designed by Thomas Heatherwick, a London-based architect. He put much planning into carving out the cylindrical shapes and was exceptionally careful not to eliminate the tubular structuring of the building itself. Now Zetiz MOCAA features large spaces for socialization and massive overhead windows, leaving plenty of open space for gallery exhibits.
This week we salute Thomas Heatherwick for contributing to Cape Town’s harbor and cultural center. Preserving history while introducing it to contemporary times can be tricky, but Zeit MOCAA is a modern masterpiece and still brimming with its past. The mantra of “deconstructing with a confidence” introduces a new way to think about transforming space.