The Old Granary building, a cultural heritage site in Cape Town’s central business district, has received a multimillion-rand facelift.
Work includes an overhaul of the exterior façade, rehabilitation of the interior space, and has brought in an interactive exhibition that includes several interactive and digital exhibits, conceptualised and designed by Formula D Interactive.
The neo-classical building dates from 1814, and is known as one of the Mother City’s most significant architectural landmarks. It was unoccupied for 20 years until Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu announced in 2015 that The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation would contribute towards its refurbishment, and also lease the building long-term. This was complemented by budget set aside by the City of Cape Town by former-Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille, to assist in the building’s upgrade.
The upgraded building is now home to the the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and serves as a Peace Centre, as well as offering the interactive digital museum exhibit, which tells the story of Cape Town and the building’s history, as well as its restoration process.
According to Formula D CEO, Michael Wolf, the organisation was commissioned to produce exhibits that would bring to life the rich history of the building. “The Old Granary is like an artery of Cape Town history. There are so many compelling and significant stories that happened in and around this building; we could have filled a much bigger museum with them,” he says.
Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to explore fascinating aspects of the building’s function as it relates to the larger story of South Africa’s history and its people. From information on panels and artifacts housed in glass cabinets, the exhibits also give rise to investigation through offering opportunities for the public to engage with a ‘living’ digital history. They will hear and witness, through specially designed audio and audio-visual attractions, the stories of the people who lived during different periods, the struggles they faced, and the opposition they might have overcome, says Wolf.
“The museum space has been designed to be attractive and engaging to visitors of all ages, allowing every member of the public who explores the exhibits to walk away with a better understanding of the historic significance of the space and the events that brought us to our current South Africa,” concludes Wolf.
First published: Tourism Update