The new DHL Express hub by Progetto CMR

Progetto CMR has designed DHL Express Italy‘s new 50,000 square metre hub in the Malpensa Cargo City.
The new operational structure of the leading express logistics company, which will employ 600 people, is the fourth most sustainable and technologically advanced in Europe, designed entirely in BIM and completed in three years. The innovative concept of the new hub, designed by Progetto CMR, will also be applied in the construction of new gateways in Italy.

Located in the southern part of Malpensa Airport, near the customs border between air-side and land-side, it is configured as a “T” structure that will house both the logistics hub and office spaces. The corporate colours are part of the language of the new architecture; the two functions can already be distinguished from the shell: red for the office area and yellow for the logistics area (Core Body, Finger and Pud Finger).
A characteristic element of the spatial concept – the result of close dialogue between DHL Express Italy and Progetto CMR – is the presence of the Connector, a place that for the first time makes it possible for all employees at the Malpensa hub to share. A full-height, glassed-in space that on the one hand allows visual continuity between the office building and the warehouse (Core Body), and on the other creates a sort of “agora” equipped for breaks.
The office building covers more than 7,000 square metres on four floors above ground and a panoramic rooftop with representation and customer experience areas. On the ground floor there are service functions for the warehouse (changing rooms, infirmary), customer and employee reception and technical rooms. On the upper floors, in addition to the operational offices with their ancillary and auxiliary spaces, there is a cafeteria and training centre.

Among the various technical solutions of greatest interest in the definition of the envelope, and an element of the architectural language, is the use of triple-chamber alveolar polycarbonate: a light, recycled and recyclable material that allows the interior spaces to be lit by natural light, with considerable energy savings, while at the same time providing excellent thermal and acoustic insulation. During the day, the translucent material enhances the colours of the shell, making the building even more visible and recognisable; at night, the internal artificial light filtering through the polycarbonate honeycombs brings the entire complex to life, as if it were a big lantern.

Architect Massimo Roj, CEO of Progetto CMR, says: “The new DHL Express Italy hub at Malpensa is the first of three projects we are working on for the company throughout Italy. The project aims to translate the enlightened vision of the German company into tangible signs, proposing an entirely new way of conceiving and experiencing logistics: not just a place dedicated to the function of sorting goods, but an integrated hub that promotes the company’s culture and mission through highly evocative, as well as highly efficient, spaces“.
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PROJECT DHL Express hub
LOCATION Milan, Italy
YEAR 2020
PHOTO Andrea Martiradonna