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The story behind the design and construction of House Booth, nestled on a secluded 1500 square metres of pristine mountainside in Bokkemanskloof, Hout Bay, 8 kilometres from Cape Towns city centre, is a tale of a unique partnership between architect and client. It is a story of a passion for the custom-made as well as the rare opportunity for an architect to design, manage and actually build the house himself to the last detail, working closely alongside the client.

The result is a carefully constructed dwelling with meticulously considered details using relatively simple materials, but the critical point is that Gregory Mann spent a year and a half on site building it and then another year transferring skills to the the client to realise the dream finishes of the high end cabinetry that define the architectural design quality of the house.
Working together after hours and over weekends, drawings were co-produced for every aspect of the custom process, and these were often free-hand or on site as building progressed. With an experienced contractor on hand for logistic help and technical advice, the architect-builder then took over in full.
The brief was to enlarge and completely transform an existing structure to offer an open and expansive connection to the site and surrounding mountains. The concept focussed on formally connecting to the existing, relatively closed box-like dwelling with an expressive concrete, steel and timber structure that could open up radically to the outside but still offer privacy and environmental control. The result is a dream family home with 360-degree mountain views overlooking Hout Bay valley, offering a lifestyle that blends passion of nature with the art of living, and where one can go to sleep feeling like you are free-camping on top of a mountain.

Gregory Mann • Elmo Strydom • Robin Booth, structural engineer – Vernon Collis



Blue Valley Avenue, Hout Bay, Cape Town


2002 - 2004