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Pleasure In a Towering and Luxurious Service with the Silo HotelThursday 10 August 2017
Completed in 1924, the grain silo building has played an integral part in the development of Cape Town and of South Africa. The building, once the tallest in Sub-Saharan Africa, standing proudly at 57m, was used for nearly 80 years as a grain silo providing crucial infrastructure to the country’s agricultural and industrial development. The building was reimagined by UK industrial designer Thomas Heatherwick incorporating many of the original industrial features. The Silo Hotel is located in the grain elevator portion of the building, which used to sort the grain before conveying the grain into the 42 storage silos. The hotel occupies six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum Of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA).
The redeveloped building beautifully contrasts historic infrastructure with modern design. This stark contrast between old and new is augmented by Liz Biden’s lively and eclectic style of interior design, a quirky distinction from the cold, raw feel of the building’s exterior.
Located on the ground floor of the silo building, the lobby sets the scene for the contrast between old and new showcased throughout the entire hotel. Suspended from the double volume ceiling hangs Haldane Martin’s contemporary chandelier juxtaposed against the original grain hoppers. Mohau Modisakeng’s Ditaola series, commissioned pieces by Jody Paulsen, Must be the Rain and So Exotic, and Frances Goodman’s Hooded Lady I, II & III help showcase this contrasting theme. Continuing up to Level Six, the reception area, Granary Café and Willaston Bar display unique variations of whimsical interior ornaments, colourful contemporary African art, and an original machine head emerging from what was once the distribution floor of the grain silo working house.
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In-room interiors each take their own unique character, carefully thought out and implemented through Liz Biden’s eye for the exquisite. The beautiful fabric used in the headboard of Room 603 was made by Halsted incorporating Ardmore ceramics first fabric range – The Qalakabusha range, meaning ‘new beginnings’.
The Oslo chairs in the library have similar fabric insets – a stunning purple fabric called Monkey Bean from the Zambezi Collection – Ardmore’s second fabric range. Hermes has also used designs from the Ardmore Ceramic Art Studio for their 2016 scarf collection.
The Willaston Bar is named after the first ship to carry grain from the silo complex to Europe in 1924, the SS Willaston. The teal stools made from soft Italian leather were manufactured locally by Moorgas & Sons, as have the beautiful soft velvet sofas.
The circular chandeliers on Level 6 are inspired by the steel rings originally used inside the grain elevator and were made by ADA Lighting. There are 80 crystal chandeliers throughout the hotel which was handmade in Egypt.
In conclusion, The Silo Hotel is a contemporary space where art, history, architecture, and luxury travel collide.
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Image Credit to Mark Williams / Source: The Silo Hotel