Arguably one of the biggest, and most talked-about events in modern art this year, late September saw the grand opening of the brand-new Zeitz MOCAA, short for Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Housed rather dramatically in a decommissioned 1920s grain silo, the museum is nothing short of an architectural masterpiece, designed by fellow Brit Thomas Heatherwick.
Widely hailed by many as Africa’s answer to the Tate Modern, the Zeit MOCAA is rapidly being recognised as one of Africa’s most important cultural landmark. The social hubbub around it has yet to die down, with the likes of Gucci holding lavish soirees there, and celebrities the world over travelling far and wide to stay the night in The Silo Hotel, delicately perched above the grand structure. Comprised of over 100 hundred galleries, and spread across nine levels, the museum is home to the largest collection of contemporary African art on the continent, sharing a dialogue with all 54 African states – it is the only museum of its kind in the whole of Africa.
Heatherwick and his team began work on this iconic museum back in 2014, with the intention to maintain the tubular structure of the building and celebrate its industrial origins. From the outside, the past meets the present – towering concrete silos are adorned with huge, bulging geometric glass windows, (home to eclectic world-famous hotel ‘The Silo’, also designed by Heatherwick). It’s the heart of the building that will truly take your breath away, though. The museum is centred around a huge atrium, with the tubular interior structures hollowed out in the shape of a single 27m tall grain, and is often likened to an industrial cathedral of sorts.
In addition to featuring world-class art from a plethora of contemporary, renowed African artists, the museum is an educational institute, with centres for performing arts, photography, and a dedicated arts education centre. Celebrating Africa’s unique and varied culture, the museum grants free access to under 18s daily, and African citizens every Wednesday.
Whether you’re browsing the works of the 21st century’s greatest artists, or just seeing friends out and about town, you’re going to want to do it in style. This Christmas, as part of our seasonal sales, Centre Front is giving you 30% off sweatshirts throughout the store. Come take a look, cast aside the clichéd ugly Christmas jumpers and stay warm in style this winter!