olin’s natural feel for design goes back to him studying to be an architect at WITS. Political activism pulled him away from this field, into a leading mediation role between business and political leaders and then a career in banking. But he maintained a fascination with Greek and Italian architecture, which now reflects in the courtyard design of his Johannesburg family home.
Advising and financing top companies takes Colin from Nigeria to Ethiopia and Ghana and if you paid him in art he might be the happiest banker alive.
Whether it’s Chairman Mao or a portrait of Madiba, there is also a political through line to his collection. Sharing this creative passion is his partner, Nerina Labuschagne – international model and mother to their 4 – year – old, Kyle.
For a man constantly involved with investment in Africa and its future, this house makes the most compelling setting for business meetings. Guests are surrounded by the best of our continent and Johannesburg boasts an unbeatable climate for year round entertaining.
The house offers great entertainment for all of Colin’s 4 children and their friends, ranging in age from 23 down to 4 – years – old.
For the man of the house, taking the stairs not the lift and getting to gym from home is an important discipline to keep up, given that he spends so much time on aircraft and in hotels and boardrooms.
Having some way to blow off steam will have been useful to a man so involved in mediation between political leaders, over the years. Colin has created a sanctuary of a master suite too.
If the concept for the home was the owner’s, to carry out this grand design, he found the ideal architect in Joe Van Rooyen.
The packed stone lends this city home an air of farm country. The bronze sculpture even suggests a modernist take on a scarecrow and these benches lend the setting a strong, African feel.
The natural cross ventilation you get through the house was greatly helped by what happened half way through the project. Opening the outside of the house to this garden suddenly became possible when the adjoining property came up for sale.
Colin bought it and what was originally an inward-focused courtyard design now had an expansive garden with well established trees and they even created a river on the side of the house. When it came to pulling all the artworks and interiors together, designer Stephen Falcke got the call.
This is a designer ideally suited to the brief. The centre of the house had to be bold, in keeping with the paintings and sculptures and Stephen is known to have an adventurous talent for mixing colours which people would otherwise be scared to try.
It is the home of someone who always sees the rainbow beyond the storm clouds and his vision and hard work are just the commodities this country needs.