Once the grain silos of Cape Town Harbour

Built in 1923 the old silos in Cape Town Harbour were used for storing grain awaiting export, and were in operation until 1995. Today they house a modern art gallery. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Jochen Zeitz, (former CEO of Puma) and the incredible architectural imagination of the Heatherwick Design Studio, the building is now a magnificent place to visit. The old round tubes of silo have been cut away in specific places to open up a central hall, encase lift shafts and staircases, as well as adapted to be rectangular rooms holding the artwork. The cut-away cement sections have been sculpted and polished – no doubt with a variation of the diamond pads we use in our workshop to polish our cabs and carvings! Another point of interest to us rockhounds might be the variety of stones that was used in the concrete when building the original silos.

An outside view of the silos

The main entrance hall with hanging dragon sculpture

Aggregate used in the original structure’s concrete

A view of the lower floor of the entrance hall showing how fantastic the sculpted concrete now looks