Kinnarps helps Airbus to respect the past and prepare for the future

This was a complex project with a newly constructed, open plan office building, with four atria, which accommodates 2,400 engineers, designers and support services plus the renovation of a neighbouring five-storey, art deco building to house a further 300 staff.

The combination of complex infrastructure, as well as the sheer size of the team to be accommodated, presented Airbus - the world’s leading commercial aircraft manufacturer with a raft of logistical challenges. 

Having seen activity based working in our London headquarters, Airbus chose to adopt an agile working approach to offer staff a range of work settings designed to accommodate a wide range of tasks. This means the new building makes very efficient use of space, as staff can opt to work in a setting best suited to the task at hand.

‘Kinnarps was hugely supportive, not only in helping us to develop highly effective space plans and an agile working environment, but in using its bespoke design software to produce detailed, 3D drawings that illustrated our intended layouts. They then installed pilot schemes in our existing buildings; so that employees could interact with the chosen furniture and see exactly how flexible working, the workstation and meeting area designs and space allocations would work for them.’

Dave Adams, head of real estate and space management for Airbus in the UK

A significant challenge in the project came in the form of designing a critical path, which would see 2400 workstations delivered, fully assembled and installed within a 21-day window, using a two-shift delivery and installation pattern. 

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‘The Kinnarps logistics team was incredibly accommodating to Airbus and any sudden changes we needed to make. Remarkably, despite the scale of the project, with around 13 trailers of product arriving daily, at the end of the process we only had four individual items that needed to be returned damaged and they were replaced immediately.’ ‘Our two key objectives were to provide a dynamic workspace that accommodated all work styles and allowed the team to be flexible and mobile throughout the space and to inject vitality and inspirational colour into the work environment. The working relationship we have developed with Kinnarps has helped us significantly in reaching these goals.’

Dave Adams, head of real estate and space management for Airbus in the UK