When I moved to Southern California from South Africa in the 1970s, what could have been a culture shock instead felt like a homecoming. I fell in love with the California coastline that reminded me so much of my roots in one of the most scenic coasts in the world. Since I moved to the U.S. and started my firm, Gafcon, I am still focused on oceanfront projects and feel a deep responsibility for how we develop our precious shorelines.
My thesis at Cape Town University was to work on a solution for a mixed-use vision for the city’s historic working waterfront. The project was an inspiration that stayed with me throughout my career. As my work at Gafcon has grown to involve major coastal assets, I notice an alarming trend on how we plan and build places where we live, work and play.