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Wilford and Dyson's African vision

Michael Wilford Architects and Chris Dyson Architects have revealed the first images of their proposed Museum of Africa.

The US$88 million (£47 million) museum will become the centrepiece of a new cultural village on the Spier Estate, in South Africa's Lynedoch Valley.

Constructed of traditional rammed earth, the cluster of painted, pavilion buildings will sit on a triangular stone plinth.

These galleries will be grouped around a trefoil-shaped building, housing the ticket desk and visitor information centre.

Above them, a sculptured, timber lattice roof, designed by London-based Adams Kara Taylor, will protect the gallery pavilions from the elements and allow 'controlled' daylight to enter the interior of the museum.

With nearly 28,000m 2 of floor space, the museum represents the first stage in a major transformation of the working estate - a masterplan that has also been devised by Wilford and Dyson.

Their proposals include a 'processional route' up to the museum from a new Winelands Experience Pavilion, which will be served by road links from Cape Town and Stellenbosch as well as the estate's own railway station. Along this tree-lined route there are plans for apartments, shops and galleries as well as a new hotel - one of five on the estate. In front of the museum, an open plaza will become the main public space for exhibitions and performances and will boast its own amphitheatre.

The surrounding landscape will continue to be used for winegrowing and olive farming but there are plans for a new golf course.

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