Discover Cape Town’s powerful design story at the Watershed

Welcome to the first blog in our new series dedicated to the Watershed! 

The Mother City welcomed the opening of the Watershed in October 2014. This dynamic new space for local craft and design next to the Two Oceans Aquarium was originally warehouse space, and then served as the Craft Market and Wellness Centre popularly known as the Blue Shed. It was redeveloped by local architecture firm Wolff Architects as part of a R50-million project into the vibrant space that thrives today. 

Today, the Watershed is a much-loved destination for tourists and locals alike – and one of the foremost champions of local creativity. The vast space is home to over 150 makers and 365 local brands offering a range of local art, ceramics, jewellery, homeware, beauty, clothing, accessories and more. Visitors from across the globe are drawn to the bright-yellow warehouse to experience the design story of Cape Town for themselves. 

But what is it that makes the Watershed such a special place? More than just a shopping destination, the 825-square-metre warehouse is a treasure trove of unique stories. Entering via the cobblestone pathway under the towering ceiling, you’re immediately immersed in an ecosystem of collaboration, creativity and care, where each and every tenant is making their own contribution to Cape Town’s design story. 

Each tenant tells their own tale: some are dedicated to turning waste into beauty, like Recycled Flip Flop Sculptures and Growbag Upcycled; others, like Sama Sama and Woodstock Laundry, want to make fashion more considerate; and brands like Batiks of Africa and Maki Oh carry rich stories of heritage. 

In 2022, the Watershed expanded its offering with a new incubator store specially designed to help emerging brands establish retail success. The Design Lab is a collaboration between the Craft and Design Institute (CDI), the V&A Waterfront and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) that hosts eight creative brands in a retail-development programme to showcase their products to the public. 

Stay tuned to our blog for more exciting stories from the Watershed. 

Come and experience the Watershed for yourself! We’re open seven days a week between 10h00 and 18h00.