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This week, we sat down with Aitor Gutierrez, Architect & Project Manager, to chat about the time we got the opportunity to collaborate on a large scale project in Zimbabwe. Aitor shares how this was a very enriching and significant experience, as we got the pleasure to expand our territories and be exposed to a new fascinating culture and country.

How did it all begin?
It all started with a simple phone call. The client found our website while searching for the word “leisure” on Google and was impressed by what they saw. They reached out to us, eager to discuss a personal project they were working on.

What was the client looking for?
The client’s vision was bold and unique. They envisioned a mixed-use development, spanning a 10-hectare site in a strategic location that would house commercial spaces, offices, supermarkets, and an amusement park. They aimed to create a vibrant hub for shopping and leisure in Chitungwiza.

How did we familiarize ourselves with the area?
The client Henry and his family generously invited us to spend a few days in Harare, the capital, and Chitungwiza to better understand the behaviors and customs of the local people. It was an unparalleled experience and treatment, which allowed us to soak up their warm hospitality, meet their team, and visit the intervention site and its surroundings. This up-close experience was instrumental in our understanding of the local community and culture, which was vital for us to align our project with the needs and expectations of the people.

What did we discover after exploring the site and meeting the client?
Upon exploring the site and meeting the client, we realized that the project’s potential was massive. Its strategic location and the possibilities for collaboration with nearby amenities such as schools and churches were clear. Our vision extended beyond a mere shopping center—we envisioned a community hub that would provide not just retail and services but also a sense of community and shared experiences, enhancing the lives of Chitungwiza residents.

We firmly believe that before initiating any project, visiting the place and meeting its people is key to understanding the unwritten and the ineffable. These first-hand experiences always give us unique insights and a better understanding of what the project, the client, and, most importantly, the community need.


Aitor Gutiérrez, Architect & Project Manager