From Realtà Mapei International n° 75 - 27/06/2019
Waterproofing membranes of the latest generation played a key role in the redevelopment of an industrial complex that is now the home of a museum of contemporary African art.
Redevelopment of the Silo District industrial zone overlooking the port of Cape Town benefited from the important contribution of Polyglass SpA, part of the Mapei Group. Polyglass products were used to waterproof the foundations and roofs and, in this particular case, the products of choice were the bitumen membranes EVOLIGHT S and ANTIRADICE LIGHT P from the REOXTHENE line and SPIDER P from the ADESO line, which all guarantee durability, elasticity and excellent mechanical performance characteristics.
Polyglass, a Mapei Group’s subsidiary, supplied branded waterproofing products for the foundations and roofs of a prestigious redevelopment project in the Silo District in Cape Town, South Africa. This monumental project, inaugurated on the 22nd of September 2017, is an excellent example of the conversion of an industrial area, in this case the historical industrial port area and waterfront in Cape Town. Work on the Grain Silo got underway in 2013 when the owners of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Holdings were looking for a suitable destination for this imposing, symbolic structure that had been a feature of the city skyline for decades. Since the start of the 1990’s, this former warehouse dating back to 1921 with its imposing 57-m-high structure, had been the capital’s commercial centre and a supply, storage and export hub for the wheat grown and harvested in the country. Consisting of 42 concrete silos located near the historic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront area of the city, it now attracts up to 100,000 visitors every day.
The new Grain Silo, which is situated inside the Silo District, was created thanks to the collaboration between Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Holdings and Jochen Zeitz, a German manager and owner of one of the world’s most prestigious collections of contemporary African art.
Development of this project was awarded to the Heatherwick design studio from London, which came up with a plan to redevelop the structure and create a home for the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), the biggest museum in the world for contemporary African art.
The Grain Silo complex extends over an area of 9,500 m², 6,000 of which are used for 80 art galleries, a rooftop sculpture garden, storage areas, bookshops, reading rooms and bars. The top 6 floors are set aside for rooms for The Silo Hotel.
Heatherwick deisgn studio decided to conserve the industrial character and memories of the building by highlighting the geometric forms of the concrete silos and embellishing them with modern materials.
The Silo District includes an entire area of 80,000 m² made up of various new structures: Silo 1 is a commercial building and the head offices of Allan Gray (a major South African investment company), Silos 2 and 3 have 31 and 79 apartments, respectively, Silo 4 is home of the first Virgin Classic Health Club in the province, Silo 5 has been turned into office space and, lastly, Silo 6 has been converted into the Radisson RED Hotel. The complex itself has won numerous awards (six SAPOA, or South African Property Owners Association awards, and three Best Overall awards) for its excellence in the real-estate sector, commercial profitability, aesthetics, innovative design, functionality and environmental sustainability.