BY ANTONELLA GIBSON
London resident Mr Greg Boki didn't plan to investing a home in Cape Town. In March 2001 he came to South Africa to spend a couple of days on safari and a few days visiting friends in Nelspruit. Prior to living in London he stayed in San Francisco and to this day loves the city. Knowing how much he loved San Francisco, his friends urged him to visit Cape Town as they were sure he would fall in love with the Mother City - 'San Francisco's African counterpart' as they so aptly called it. Greg planned a three-night stay in Cape Town, which turned into a six-week sojourn. When he finally returned to London,he was the proud owners of what is now referred to as Atlanticview. Renovations began almost immediately in May 2001 and were finished by November of the same year.
Greg explains, 'A house is always changing with you. I don't think one ever finishes ironing out the finer particularities of one's home.' During construction the owners generally spent two weeks in Cape Town and two weeks in London - an arduous task, but ultimately worth it. Greg worked on the project with an old friend, local architect Dr Hameed Khan. They decided to use the existing layout of the house and expand on it as it lent itself to the final design. The first thing you notice on entering this home is the incredible amount of natural light and the captivating views. Greg points out: 'We live in the dark in England. We have deliberately used floor-to-ceiling glass in virtually every room. This maximises the light and makes the most of the wonderful uninterrupted views available to us.'
One of the original architectural features, which was kept in the final design, is the wooden roof with a large skylight running across the entire structure - from the bedroom through to the living room, dining room and finally the kitchen. It offers exquisite views of the surrounding mountains. The house faces breathtaking ocean views, while sights of the majestic mountains, for which Cape Town is so famous, surround the rest of the house. The abundance of glass invites the outdoors into the house and creates the impression of being part of the outdoor environment instead of a mere onlooker. Greg decorated his own home. He decided on a modern but warm style and achieved this by toning down contemporary characteristics with the use of interesting local ornaments, art and a selection of warm colours. There is a muted African theme running through the house, creating a very chic tone but at the same time encouraging a feeling of relaxed comfort.