Zeitz MOCAA 101: Opening details, progress pics, info and more

2017-01-10 10:42 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - Come spring this year, the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) will open its doors in the re-imagined historic Grain Silo complex at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, hoping to be  'Africa’s most significant museum in over one hundred years'. 

According to the museum organisers, the Zeitz MOCAA hopes to be the world’s largest museum dedicated to showcasing contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora.  

WATCH: V&A Waterfront changes to position SA as a 'symbol of Africa'

The new facility also aims to provide economically viable access to a core collection of art to the public, as well as operate appropriate schools programme to enrich, inspire and bring art and culture to school children. 

The objective, organisers says, is "for Zeitz MOCAA to be seen as giving back to Africa and telling the African history story through art and culture". 

It's a dream come true for art in South Africa, and Africa.  And the dream is fast becoming a reality. 

SEE: Art uprising: Cape Town in 2017

Zeitz MOCAA recently released details of their spring opening this year. This is the info you need if you want to be one of the firsts to experience it: 

Grand Opening

The grand opening weekend will be from 22 to 25 September 2017, and will be free for all. 

Operating hours beginning on 27 September 2017:

Wednesday to Monday 10:00 to 18:00; closed Tuesdays
“Late Night Fridays” to be announced (open until 10:00)

Access for All days and hours: 

Free admission to all under 18s
Free admission from 10:00 until 13:00 every Wednesday, for all South Africans and people from the African continent
Half price admission for all on ‘Late Night Fridays’

Admission and membership rates will be announced later this year.

ALSO SEE: The Year of Museums: 5 Exciting new endeavours


The process of setting up museum structures is underway, running parallel to the physical construction. 

Check out what it looked like before: 


And what the development currently looks like: 

Credit: Navigator Films

Grain Silo redevelopment 

The museum will have its home in the ambitiously reimagined historic Grain Silo complex at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. 

Apart from the museum, the redevelopment of the historic Grain Silo will also be completed at the end of the year. 

The area will comprise of four new developments of over 35 000m2 of multiple sustainable developments, this includes new corporate offices, a residential development, a Virgin Active Classic Health Club and a mid-range internationally branded hotel. 

In addition to that, over 1050 additional parking bays will be added. 

After the completion, approximately 2 500 people will work in the Silo district on a daily basis. 

In a 2012 economic impact study that is currently being updated, the expected nominal contribution to GDP from future developments is an estimated, R28 billion by 2023.

Architects impressions by Heatherwick Studio show a state-of-the-art building. 

Credit: Heatherwick Studio

Credit: Heatherwick Studio

Quick facts 

The museum is a not-for-profit partnership between the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz.
The V&A Waterfront is funding the redevelopment costs, and gifting the use of the building at no cost to the institution.
Jochen Zeitz’s collection forms the founding collection of the museum and is on long term loan.  Pieces from the collection will be exhibited alongside the museum’s permanent collection.
Mark Coetzee is the Executive Director and Chief Curator.
Heatherwick Studio are the architects responsible for reimagining the historic Grain Silo complex.
Zeitz MOCAA is the focal development of the new mixed-use Silo District currently being developed by the V&A Waterfront.
The MOCAA Foundation is a not-for-profit institution that is governed by a Board of Trustees. David Green and Jochen Zeitz are Co-chairs of the Board of Trustees. The role of the Zeitz MOCAA Board is to ensure that Zeitz MOCAA acts in accordance with its mission and constitution and to provide governance and oversight of Zeitz MOCAA’s activities in furtherance of the objects set down in that constitution.

How did the Zeitz MOCAA come about? 

The establishment of the museum came about as a confluence of various factors. 

The V&A Waterfront recognised the significance of its Grain Silo complex as a historic landmark and for years debated possible uses. An art museum was eventually decided upon but a collection was needed.

The desire was to house something of public civic significance, and something open to the public. 

It was through Ravi Naidoo that Thomas Heatherwick was introduced to the Grain Silo complex in 2006, and again in 2011.

At the same time, Jochen Zeitz was working with curator Mark Coetzee to build a world-class collection of contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora with the vision to create the first major museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora on the Africa Continent. The meeting of these two visions resulted in the creation of the not-for-profit institution since named Zeitz MOCAA. 

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