Following from the outstanding success of their new branch in Borrowdale (featured on the cover of Structure and Design issue 14) Halsted Builders Express has just opened their ninth branch, situated at 710 Simon Mazarodze Road, close to the intersection with Masotsha Ndlovu Way. This brings to four the number of branches in Harare, with five branches across the country in Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare, Kwekwe and recently a branch in Marondera. (See Structure and Design issue 22 for more information on the Marondera branch.) Now, with a total of nine branches across Zimbabwe, there really is a convenient branch near you!
The Simon Mazarodze Road branch is intended to cater for the huge increase in construction and development currently taking place in the areas around Waterfalls, Hopley and Chitungwiza. Not only are there new manufacturing and industrial developments happening here there’s also been a huge surge in the number of ongoing housing projects in the area. So the new branch is designed to cater for both big and smaller contractors in all sectors of the construction industry as well as homeowners and DIY enthusiasts in the surrounding residential suburbs. The new branch, which opened at the beginning of December last year, has been set up along similar lines to the Halsted Builders Express in Msasa. It’s made up of two sections – a new custom designed warehouse/shop and an existing older warehouse on the adjacent lot. There’s ample yard space between the two structures which is convenient for bigger trucks for deliveries and collections. The yard space also allows open air storage for their range of JoJo water tanks, and bulkier items like steel door and window frames and concrete blocks and bricks. There’s also space for their gas supply kiosk.
The existing warehouse was already ideal for Halsted’s requirements and there was not much renovation or adaptation needed. Two new big roller shutter doors were installed to create easier access for large deliveries. The building is solid brickwork up to roof height with a row a large windows across the front for natural light. The high roof covers the span with no supporting pillars blocking the interior space so it’s ideal for moving stock (and vehicles) around inside.
The existing warehouse caters for their extensive timber stock, including their range of solid wood doors, and their timber processing machinery. It also accommodates their ‘dry powder’ The existing warehouse was already ideal for Halsted’s requirements and there was not much renovation or adaptation needed. Two new big roller shutter doors were installed to create easier access for large deliveries. The building is solid brickwork up to roof height with a row a large windows across the front for natural light. The high roof covers the span with no supporting pillars blocking the interior space so it’s ideal for moving stock (and vehicles) around inside. Stocks, like cement, Rhinoset, Rhinobond and similar products. In addition City Glass has a small section inside to supply and cut glass for customers’ convenience.
The new built warehouse/shop was custom designed and built by Sutymak Investments to fully cater for Halsted’s needs. It covers approximately 1,500 sq. m. providing storage, display space, sales and administration. Karl Schoeman from Sutymak devised the original design and enlisted the help of local architectural firm Studio Five and local engineering company Classic Engineering to complete the final drawings. Sutymak took on the role of main contractor (together with Classic Engineering) and Ezra Daka, also from Sutymak acted as the project manager. Construction started in January 2019 and the warehouse was open for trading on 3rd December – just eleven months later. The structure is basically made up of Chromadek walls and roof set on a concrete slab. There’s lots of safe parking in front for customers and large roller shutter doors, under a sheltering portico, create the entrance and exit. Inside the floor is power float concrete which is both durable and has a clean, attractive, industrial look. The high roof is covered in a single span with white Alububble insulation behind black steel trusses and generous skylights punched through for natural lighting.
The stock is well presented and laid out with eye-catching displays for different departments, like the paint section, the lighting display and the bathroom section. They’re almost like little showrooms within the larger space, so it’s easy to imagine how the items would look in a home or office. Although there’s a huge amount of stock, and a huge variety, every section is clearly labelled and logically set out so that it’s easy to find exactly what you need. The aisles between the rows of gondolas are generous so it doesn’t ever seem too cluttered or chaotic. And if you can’t find what you need the sales staff are friendly, knowledgeable and keen to help. Big, colourful graphic panels mounted just below the roof help to make the rather industrial interior feel brighter and more welcoming.
The Chromadek walls are further broken up by a brick section on the right as you enter the warehouse. On the ground floor of the brick section are restrooms for customers, which are spotless and attractively finished with modern fittings. An industrial steel staircase leads up to a row of smart, bright admin offices with a fully fitted staff kitchenette at the end.
Text: Michael Nott
Photos: Michele Fortmann