Eastgate Shopping Mall, Harare

Eastgate Centre is a mid rise building in Harare and one of Zimbabwe's largest offices and shopping malls. It is owned by the Old Mutual group of companies. The mall is at the corner of Robert Mugabe road and Sam Nujoma street. The shopping mall is one of Zimbabwe's few "Green buildings" said to have been modelled after termite mounds common in the country. The building, designed and supervised by architect Mick Pearce in collaboration with Arup engineers[1] The building is considered Mick Pearce's seminal projects, that is it greatly influenced other works by him.[2]

The design and construction project started in 1991 and the building was officially opened in 1996. [2]

Natural Air Conditioning

Eastgate is considered an architectural marvel as it has no conventional air-conditioning or heating, yet stays regulated year round with dramatically less energy consumption using design methods inspired by indigenous Zimbabwean masonry and the self-cooling mounds of African termites! The natural air conditioning applies to the public walking places inside the mall but to a much lesser extent the actual offices inside, which commonly have air conditioning as they are designed differently based on the partitioning each company chooses. The Eastgate Centre uses less than 10% of the energy of a conventional building its size. [1] It is estimated that in the first five years alone, the building saved Old Mutual owner $3.5 million in energy costs.[2]


In addition to the termite mounds model, the building was also influenced by Zimbabwe's traditional native stone masonry architecture found at heritages sites like Great Zimbabwe. This is evidenced by Eastgate's heavy masonry walls on the exterior of the building.[2]

The inside design was influenced by industrial machine architecture (steel-lattice girders, walkways suspended on tendons, bridges, and filigreed tiaras) brought in by European immigrants.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Abigail Doan BIOMIMETIC ARCHITECTURE: Green Building in Zimbabwe Modeled After Termite Mounds, Pubished 29 November 2012, Retrieved: 27 October 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Mick Pearce CV, Retrieved:17 October 2015,