Museum of African Arts, Cape Town

  • Year 2006
  • Program museum for contemporary art
  • Client Spier Holdings
  • Status Competition, project not retained
  • Surface 152,800 m² / 1,644,725 sq. ft
  • Location Cape Town, South Africa

In this museum, permanent and temporary exhibitions and audiovisual rooms are grouped together under a vast metal structure 10 m wide and 250 m long (32 ft x 820 ft). This structure is easy to install and flexible in its use and interior fittings. The long glass west facade is protected from the sun by a large canopy, creating a space for various events. To the east, the museum overlooks a large vine trellis that covers the complementary programs: car park, artists’ studios, administrative and research centers, and auditorium. A gigantic golden baobab tree, with a metal casing supported by a structure like that of the Statue of Liberty, rises through this trellis to create a 110-meter-high (360 ft) belvedere, from which the sea is visible.