Cape Town’s historic working harbour, the V&A Waterfront, attracts over 23-million visitors per year. With such high visitor numbers, it was an ideal location for a new restaurant and African food market for concept restaurant chain Moyo.

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 experiences of preparing, cooking, and eating, before the completing the cycle when food as organic waste is used as fertiliser. 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 according to the stall tenants’ needs. The stalls are arranged around the arcade in a configuration reminiscent of a traditional African souk.

The Urban Farm uses a specially developed aquaponic system that cultivates fresh greens, and also tilapia fish for the restaurant. The aquaponic urban farm also extends into the restaurant.

The project received an Honourable Mention for the international Young Architects in Africa competition in 2014. Click here to see a video about the project.

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