DHL, East Midlands Airport

With a complex brief – creating a multi-functional space that accommodates everyone from employees working in the call centre, to corporate clients and the warehouse team – our aim for DHL’s largest UK site was to create an engaging and stimulating space that is attractive to employees and caters for a complex range of functions.

Given the fast pace of the logistics sector, the design was progressed to remain as flexible as possible throughout the design process and into operation. Tools such as BIM were critical to efficiently deal with client changes through the design and delivery process, minimising disruption and supporting our flexible approach. This allowed for new work processes and equipment to be used as required, without significant impact on the building’s fabric, structure, and mechanical and electrical services; it also ensured the building remained operational, whilst providing flexibility and future intensification.

In line with DHL’s ‘go green’ initiative, which strives to move towards more environmentally friendly facilities, our Landscape team were tasked with increasing landscape design within the scheme, including greening the way finding, entrance and parking areas, with the aim to enhance the employee and public’s experience of the scheme.


Project Details

The cargo terminal at East Midlands Airport is DHL’s largest UK site.

  • DHL’s largest UK site
  • Multi-functional space
  • 85,000 sqm extension to DHL’s Cargo Terminal

As part of this 85,000 sqm extension to DHL’s Cargo Terminal, new and original office spaces are connected by a new double-height staff canteen area for dining and socialising, surrounded by smaller coffee shops for informal meetings. Overlooking the open, expansive canteen space is a ‘think tank’ – a glass room for employees to share new and creative ideas.

The existing building had limited natural daylight, so the new office spaces were all located along one elevation, ensuring all employees had equal daylight opportunities and long distance views of the surrounding natural environment.

Using subtle elements of DHL’s branding running throughout the space, super-graphics in place of posters and intelligent colour-coded signage helps employees navigate the space.