Neighbourhood of the week: The Silo District

Posted by Ondela Mlandu on 30 August 2018 Tags:,

An underused part of the Waterfront has sprung to life around the conversion of old grain silos into an already iconic African art museum. Dale Simpson gives us a local’s tour.

Image supplied


Curator/manager at the Radisson RED

‘I am pumped when I’m in the Silo District, because of the artistic vibe. It developed with the Zeitz MOCAA at its heart, an incredible building, but the Silo and Radisson RED hotels will also make a mark.’ (Not least because of the views of the city and Table Mountain from the rooftops of these buildings.) ‘It’s becoming a social hub and cultural district, an environment for people from all walks of life. Everyone who visits can learn, spend time and connect with one another. One of my favourite things about Cape Town is the creativity, energy and innovation. I love how there is so much to see and do – even a visit to the weekend food markets brings out the mix of cultures in the city.’ Silo 6, Silo Square, 0870861578

The spacious, colourful rooms at the Radisson RED Hotel in Cape Town. Image supplied


Go green

Opus Botanical Florist is a beautiful little place filled with fresh scents and amazing plants and flowers. I can lose an afternoon in here, just pottering around.’ Silo 3, Silo Square, 0727856002

Image from Opus Botanical Florist


On the plate

‘I enjoy my flat white with a basket of pastries at The Granary Café, while looking at some of the best views. For a meal, don’t even read the menu – you have to try their seafood briyani.’ 6th floor, Silo Hotel, Silo Square, 0216700500

Image from The Granary


Sweet Treat

‘Become a chocolatier. Get down and dirty and make your own at the Lindt Chocolate Studio. Of course, the best part is eating it afterwards!’ Silo 2, Silo Square, 0218310360


The main attraction

Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) opened on 22 September. ‘Spread over nine floors, in over 100 galleries … with cutting-edge artworks on a scale never seen in Africa before, using technology, the moving image, live body art etc,’ says chief curator Mark Coetzee. ‘It’s a must-visit like Table Mountain or Cape Point.’ The building itself is a marvel: once the tallest in SA, built in 1921, the 9 500mmuseum has been carved from 116 vertical tubes. ‘The idea of turning a giant, disused concrete grain silo into a new kind of public space was weird and compelling,’ says designer Thomas Heatherwick. Entry R180 per person, free on Wednesday mornings and for kids at all times. R250 membership gets you in for free all year, plus other benefits.

Image from Zeitz MOCAA


Unique finds

Southern Guild has beautiful art and design pieces – creations by mainly South African artists. I love Andile Dyalvane’s ceramics.’ Silo Hotel, Silo Square, 0214612856

Image from Southern Guild