Now let your imagination colour in the interiors, adorn it with mirrors and chandeliers, velvet and paintings, and all the trimmings of a luxurious boutique hotel. Fill the bath with bubbles, sip champagne from crystal glasses, and marvel at the panoramic view through the 82 pillowed glass windows that bulge outward as if inflated. That’s what you can expect at The Silo Hotel , which is as synonymous with the Cape Town skyline as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. Design Built in 1921 as an industrial harbour facility for grain, this disused building sat deteriorating in recent years. Unlike many other historic buildings that have spaces to be repurposed, this had none. However, industrial designer Thomas Heatherwick had a plan: he would celebrate the building’s “tube-iness”! With advanced concrete-cutting techniques, galleries were carved, exposing the raw beauty of the original concrete and celebrating the industrial heritage, thereby reviving interest in this iconic landmark. The tower still contains large pieces of rusty chains and piping and heavy machinery, which have been artfully incorporated into the refurbishment. Imagine 42 vertical tubes of a derelict grain storage complex converted into a world-famous art gallery, with a decadent hotel perched on top.
Like Waterside ( previous pages ), The Silo Hotel is part of The Royal Portfolio, and inspiringly decorated by owner-founder Liz Biden in her trademark eclectic style. Over the years, she has acquired a collection of exquisite and unusual African art, and select pieces have been chosen to complement the interiors of the 28 hotel rooms here.
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