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House Lionel Phillips: Villa Arcadia
Parktown, Johannesburg, Gauteng

BAKER, MASEY and SLOPER: Architect
Patrick WATSON: Landscape Architect

Client:Lionel Phillips
Style:Arts and Crafts
Street:Oxford/Federation Rds


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26°10'28.45" S 28°02'28.88" E Alt: 1740m

In 1898 a Swiss Chalet was built here for merchant Carl Rolfes. In 1906 it was bought by Randlord and MP Sir Lionel Phillips, Chairman of Rand Mines. His influential wife Florence, founder of the Johannesburg Art Gallery and described as No Ordinary Woman, masterminded the creation of the present Villa Arcadia with architect Sir Herbert BAKER. Certain design features are mirrored in Pretoria's Union Buildings, designed by BAKER the following year. In 1923, under the S.A. Jewish Orphanage, It became The Arc, serving children for the next 78 years. Bought by HOLLARD in 2003, the Villa's original elegance and historic craftsmanship have been restored and are complemented by a modern art collection.

(William MARTINSON, December, 2010; Johannesburg City Heritage Plaque)

The original Estate landscape at Villa Arcadia was designed by Sir. Herbert Baker in 1910 - see link below. The site has had several different owners over the past 100 years the latest being the Endhoven family. Patrick Watson has been involved during their ownership as landscape architect on the estate for over 15 years. The latest intervention he completed was a 2km long narrative walkway that traverses the site and a rare plant collection garden at The Pines, a new acquisition to the Hollard complex. The implementation happened in the last four years and was executed with the assistance of Rekopane Landscapes.

(Wallace Honiball, April, 2021)

See The Heritage Portal for more information

These notes were last edited on 2021 04 30

Writings about this entry

Baker, Herbert. 1944. Architecture & personalities. London: Country Life. pg 53-54
Fairbridge, Dorothea. 1934. Gardens of South Africa : with some chapters on practical gardening under South African conditions and some notes on the cultivation of South African wild flowers. Cape Town: Maskew Millar . pg opp. 12
Greig, Doreen. 1970. Herbert Baker in South Africa. Cape Town: PURNELL. pg 124-128
Gutsche, Thelma. 1966. No Ordinary Woman: The life and times of Florence Phillips. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg Various - see book index
Keath, Michael. 1992. Herbert Baker: Architecture and Idealism 1892 - 1913: The South African Years. Gibraltar: Ashanti Pub. Ltd.. pg 159-163
van der Waal, Gerhard-Mark. 1975. Projek opname historiese gebou in Johannesburg. Eerste verslag. Parktown: Dept Kunsgeskiedenis. RAU. pg 24a