Royal Portfolio hotel opens in Heatherwick Studio's Cape Town Grain Silo

We have really had to think carefully about the use of space, reinventing the classic formula for a hotel suite to showcase the magnificent views through the five metre tall glass windows
– Liz Biden, Royal Portfolio founder

The Silo Hotel – a luxury property located within Heatherwick Studio’s re-imagined Cape Town grain storage facility – opens today (1 March).

The hotel is built in the grain elevator portion of the silo complex, occupying six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). It has 26 guest rooms, including one bedroom penthouse, that are all more spacious vertically than horizontally due to the unique architecture of the building.

The original complex, which is formed of an elevator house and a storage annex of six rows of seven silos, dates from 1924. At the time it was built it was one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s tallest structures. In 2013, Heatherwick Studio were tasked with transforming the complex – which had been out of use for over a decade – into a cultural building “that will be as synonymous with the Cape Town skyline as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.”

Describing the design, the studio’s principal, Thomas Heatherwick, has previously said that “from the outside, the greatest change to the grain silo’s monumental structure will be the addition of pillowed glazing panels, inserted into the existing geometry of the upper floors, which will bulge outward as if gently inflated.

“By night, this will transform the building into a glowing lantern or beacon in the harbour.”

The Silo Hotel's leisure amenities include a gym, a rooftop restaurant and swimming pool and private dining areas.

A Royal Portfolio spa is located on the fourth level. The waiting area has a window looking into the atrium of Zeitz MOCCA. Facilities include a small sauna and five treatment rooms, two of which can open into one for couples massages.

Each of the hotel's room has been individually designed and decorated by Liz Biden, founder and CEO of The Royal Portfolio – the company which owns the hotel. Colourful and eclectic interior pieces have been chosen to juxtapose the modern, industrial architecture.

“We have really had to think carefully about the use of space, reinventing the classic formula for a hotel suite to showcase the magnificent views through the five metre tall glass windows which make up the majority of the wall space in each room,” said Biden.

“These are an amazing feature for both the insider and outsider. Inside they totally transcend the space, allowing guests to look outward and directly below from a position of warmth and safety. The effect will be quite unusual and utterly mesmerising. The geometric lines of the windows are very modern and almost masculine, which I have tried to temper with the use of texture and colour.”

Zeitz MOCAA is set to open in the complex in September 2017. It has been envisioned as a contemporary art museum to rival the likes of the Tate Modern in London, MoMA in New York and Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid.

Royal Portfolio  The Silo Hotel  Cape Town  South Africa  Thomas Heatherwick  Heatherwick Studio  architecture  design 
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The Silo Hotel – a luxury property located within Heatherwick Studio’s re-imagined Cape Town grain storage facility – opens today (1 March). The hotel is built in the grain elevator portion of the silo complex, occupying six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). It has 26 guest rooms, including one bedroom penthouse, that are all more spacious vertically than horizontally due to the
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Heatherwick Studio were asked to design a cultural building 'as synonymous with the Cape Town skyline as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris'
/ The Royal Portfolio
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