blog, by cristina lanz azcarate
Comment 1

Bye bye CZWG

The team at CZWG Architects Llp, 6th of March 2015

Czwg has been my home from home for the past eight years and their team of amazing people my dysfunctional family. Yesterday , after long consideration, my time there came to an end leading the way to my own adventures to come. To celebrate our time together,I chose a Donostia 2016 inspired send off. Pintxos, tapas and lovely bread and olives provided by my wonderful colleague Wilson .

The occasion called for a speech and I wanted to make sure covered everything i wanted to cover, so here is my leaving speech:


” I came to CZs for an interview because my husband said so . The Work of CZWG was famous in Japan and he felt I would like it here.

The interview was rather long. I had come from a practice where I was an associate and the job I was applying to was that of an architectural assistant. This seemed to puzzle everyone, specially Adam:”You seem to have done everything already… What would you possibly want to learn at CZWG ?” He asked

Well… I decided to join czwg because despite being a fan of rationalism, and raw materials , I was only too aware that i had spent years negotiating with planners less than radical details, whilst CZwG had challenged the rules by building loudly and proudly in truly great sites.

Clearly I had to find out their secret.

I cannot claim to have learnt every CZWG secret in eight years but I’ve learnt a few and so did I learnt from my awesome colleagues. In the true spirit of sharing, these are the lessons I will take:

1. Be yourself. It is more memorable than being “another one” and much less difficult

2. You cannot please everyone but you can find people who will be pleased to work with you

3. For the rest, charm takes you further than confrontation.

4. Despite popular belief, appeals are not the last resort but often a part of the planning process

5. It is better to be criticised than to be ignored… And ,to me at least, Criticism is a price worth paying if you can make a difference

6. The best person for a job, is not the best person for any job

7. Be there for others because you will , at some point, need them to be there for you.

8. As a wise colleague told me , the journey is as important as the goal , specially in long journeys (and most developments are) so choose your journey companions carefully and always remember to have fun.

The last thing I need to say is thank you. Individually and collectively and specially to those closest to me who have supported me through tough personal times, decisions and projects.

To those who I’ve been lucky enough to work with ,on all sorts of projects, a special thank you for your commitment , I am really lucky to have shared a team with you.

To those who have backed and supported my unconventional initiatives thank you too. A special thanks to those who despite not understand me, I choose to blame my accent, gave me the benefit of the doubt.

Now, Despite my brother’s claims, you can find me quite easily online and in social media so if you need or want to talk to me, do reach out.

This food on the table is representative of what we eat at home. As you know, my husband is Japanese and I am Basque from San Sebastian and if you like this food, I realise that not all of you will, I would encourage you to visit San Sebastian, not only because it is a great city but because next year will be European Capital of Culture (hence the poster in the middle of the table) jointly with Wroclaw in Poland.

Enjoy . ”

Learn about the Donostia 2016 project here

Recipes of the food I prepared can be found on this blog:

Empanada de atun
Croquetas de jamon 
Basque style stuffed peppers 
Lazy antipasti 
Tofu with bonito flakes 
Ensaladilla rusa 
Salmon teriyaki parcels 

Text by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Photography by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate

Please feel free to use this entry for your own personal use, not commercially. All images are links to the originals and are property of the author/s. If you wanted to share any of the information provided, send a link to the website but do not extract/copy the information without prior permission.

1 Comment

  1. Chris N says

    Christina thank you for your ‘Thank You’ card – a very sweet gesture.

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