Set on the Spier Estate near Stellenbosch in South Africa’s Western Cape, about 50 km from Cape Town, this design for a Museum of Africa was commissioned by the owners of the Estate to provide space for the storage and display of African art as well as lecture facilities and related service areas. The proposals, prepared in collaboration with Michael Wilford are composed of a number of well-articulated forms set within this area of vineyards, and a wider masterplan.
The museum complex is approached via a wide plaza at ground level. Overlooking this is a plinth approached by a broad concave flight of steps. This plinth level gives access to various gallery pavilions which cluster around a central trefoil form housing the primary information and ticketing desks. The gallery pavilions and terrace are protected from the elements by a soaring triangular canopy, set in counter orientation to the plinth below.