Lisbon 2018 | Non-residential


South AfricaSouth AfricaCompany Name: Scheltema

Project description

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) is housed in the historic Grain Silo complex at the V&A Waterfront. Built in 1921, and at 57m tall, the Grain Silo is an icon of the Cape Town skyline, having processed hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat, maize, soya, and sorghum. The overarching vision for the building was to redevelop and restore it in such a way that brings national and international interest in a manner that breathes new and sustainable commercial and cultural life to the building. Huge sections have been carved out of the building’s tubular interior to create a complex network of 80 gallery spaces. The museum centres around a huge atrium, based on the shape of a single grain that was scaled up to span the full height of the 27-metre-high structure.



For over 80 years Scheltema has been a leading provider of roofing, ceilings, and partitioning in Southern Africa. Much of the success of the company can be attributed to its passion for building, pride in its work, and commitment towards building strong relationships in the marketplace. The result is a powerful and streamlined organization, and extended supply chain, that effectively integrates staff, customers, and suppliers. Numerous relationships span generations. Scheltema & Co was founded by Cornelius Scheltema in 1931. It began as a trading company, importing Dutch clay roofing tiles from premises in Strand Street, Cape Town (at a princely monthly rental of 3 pounds and 10 shillings). Before long, demand for the company’s products and services led to the establishment of what is arguably the oldest roofing and ceiling contracting company in Southern Africa. Scheltema grew from strength to strength, contributing to some of the Mother City’s most prominent buildings – Groote Schuur, The Red Cross Children’s Hospital, The State President’s residence, Huguenot Building and the Supreme Court, amongst others.

Fire protection
Fire Protection / Gyproc Fire Rated – 120 minute fire protection
Moisture resistance
Moisture Resistance / Gyproc Moisture Resistant – water resistant
Acoustic control
Acoustic Insulation/ Gyproc Acoustic Rigitone – 63 dB (decibel) sound rating
Superior aesthetic and design
Excellent Surface Finish / RhinoLite Cretestone Skim Plaster – smooth seamless surface ready to receive decorative treatment

Key Achievements

  • Logistics management of getting materials into structure and rubbish out.
  • All systems built to specification which meant acoustic performance achieved with no test failures.
  • Final finish is admirable and quietly (literally) supports the show-stopping art and building design.
  • A completely unique, bespoke and non-standard installation achieved.
  • Project delivered to challenging budget and time schedule.
  • Discussion throughout the process with the architect to optimize each design phase.
  • Final result combines high standards for design / aesthetics, acoustic comfort, and optimal levels of natural daylight.

Key Challenges

The heritage structure of building required careful and considerate deconstruction and then renovation.
The large challenge of the project was the budget which was very small comparatively.
The interface between different materials both from the original structure and new proved challenging.
Triple volume gallery rooms meant ceiling installation required scaffolding – resulting additional time and logistics. Logistical hindrances were experienced when getting materials into the structure with limited hoist usage.
The structure needed to take into account safety and longevity of artworks and installations.
Changes in layout meant the walls needed re-skimming. There was also severe moisture on site due weather conditions which had to be dealt with.
Art displays required triple volume walls at times with heavy loading and fixing ability.
Expensive artwork meant that fire; safety and moisture considerations had to be well thought out.


Building owner:
V&A Waterfront Developers
Thomas Heatherwick
Main contractor:
Iwan Baan
Saint-Gobain Team:
Janet Thompson