Modern Architecture Meets Sustainable Agriculture

Restaurant chain Moyo wanted to create a new restaurant and African food market at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town’s historic working harbour and a major tourist destination which attracts over 23-million visitors per year.

Designing a restaurant and a market at the same venue gave us a unique opportunity to tell the story of food in its full cycle. The story begins with how food is grown, and explores its history as a traded commodity. It moves into the culinary experience of preparation, cooking, and consumption, before the final stage of food as organic waste that can be used as fertilizer to complete the cycle. The narrative also introduces contemporary ideas such as urban farming and sustainable technologies.

Located on the Clock Tower plaza, the scheme includes a two-storey restaurant and an open-air market. The market comprises three elements that combine architecture with agriculture:

The Market Arcade, covered by a solar panel array that powers the stalls during the day, which also doubles as shading device for the space below.

The Market Stalls are a cluster of pre-fabricated modular units that can be adapted to meet stall tenants’ needs. The stalls are arranged around the arcade with the aim to create small intimate streets like that of an African souk.

The Urban Farm uses a specially developed aquaponic system that will offer fresh off-the-wall greens as well as tilapia fish for the restaurant. The aquaponic urban farm also extends into the restaurant.

The project received an Honorable Mention for the international “Young Architects in Africa” competition in 2014. click here to see a video about the project.

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