The Silo is built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex occupying six floors above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). Zeitz MOCAA is a modern art museum to rival the likes of the Tate Modern in London, MoMA in New York and Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. Zeitz MOCAA is a not-for-profit partnership between the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz, whose collection forms the Museum’s founding collection.
The building was designed by Thomas Heatherwick, Founder and Principal of the London-based Heatherwick Studio. Heatherwick Studio was tasked with the transformation of the elevator house and the adjacent storage annex of six rows of seven silos. The resulting build retained its cultural significance and created a building that is as synonymous with the Cape Town skyline as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.
From the outside, the greatest visible change to the building’s original structure is the addition of pillowed glazing panels. These are inserted into the geometry of the hotel floors, which bulge outward as if gently inflated. By night, this transforms the building into a glowing lantern or beacon in the harbour.
The Silo has 28 rooms, including a spectacular penthouse. Each room is individually designed and decorated by the stylish wand of Liz Biden. Colourful and eclectic pieces juxtapose the modern, industrial architecture.
The seven room categories are based on the room size and the views. The rooms are more spacious vertically than horizontally owing to the unique architecture of The Silo. In particular the ingenious design of the pillowed window bays, which are one of the key architectural features, add a feeling of space.