The growing collection shows Hollard’s commitment to the enrichment of their employees by actively creating a sense of creative energy and stimulation in the workplace. It encompasses the philosophy that a creative, thought provoking environment encourages thoughtful employees. Hollard’s challenge was to sympathetically restore the historical buildings and, in total harmony with this task, create a new, efficient workspace for their operations.
Villa Arcadia, Parktown (c 1907)
When Hollard acquired the Villa in 2004, becoming the custodians of this important part of Johannesburg’s founding history, the company developed a comprehensive vision for the 16 acres site. The vision was to accommodate the practical needs of Hollard without impinging on the importance of the Villa. In fact everything that happened on the site, had to recognise the supremacy of the Villa. Designed by Sir Herbert Baker, it is believed to be the forerunner of the Union Buildings in Pretoria and contains fine arts and crafts within an architectural masterpiece strongly influenced by Arcadia.
It was originally built for Lady Florence Phillips who, together with Sir Hugh Lane, was the force behind establishing the Johannesburg Art Gallery Foundation Collection. In Lady Phillips’ time, as now, art played an integral role in the growth and development of a new burgeoning society.
In accord with Lady Phillips’s commitment to integrate the arts and craft of her time, Hollard has, working closely with the Consultancy, developed a vision to introduce present day arts and crafts to continue her tradition.
Much thought and effort went into sourcing period light fittings, finishes and furnishings, to be sympathetically combined with contemporary works of South African art. The resultant collection contains important works by Stanley Pinker, David Koloane, Conrad Botes, Mustafa Maluka and Paul Emmanuel.
As Lady Phillips commissioned site-specific works by crafters and artists such as masters George Ness and Anton van Wouw so today, Hollard also invited artists to create works especially for Villa Arcadia and the surrounding business precinct. Artists such as Doreen Southwood, Rookeya Gardee and Paul Edmonds have collaborated with the Qubeka Bead Artists to create beaded artworks, while Marlise Keith, in partnership with Spier Architectural Arts, has recently installed a 17-metre outdoor mosaic to add to other important site-specific works by Marco Cianfanelli and Jaco Sieberhagen.
Hollard House (c 2007)
In the main, works chosen for this building are works on paper. Great ideas in business and in the arts often start with doodles on paper. In this sense having an environment that stimulates and thus encourages ideas, is particularly appropriate. Hollard House houses important collections of artist diaries and concept drawings that show the creative process at its embryonic stage. The building also provided the site for artist, Tamsin Relly’s “Thinking on Paper” project where she created sketches of Hollardites and the work environment while at the same time encouraging the participation of Hollardites themselves. Hollard is greatly appreciative and feels privileged as a result of these active projects and the artworks that form the collection.