When a company casts their collective mind back over the year that was, we agree one of our proudest 2015 moments was fitting out Hellmann Worldwide Logistics’ new headquarters. A benchmark in design, functionality and innovation, the new building is 15,000-square-metre ambient and controlled-temperature warehousing complex and head office at Landing Drive, Auckland Airport.
We’ve probably all seen the building by now, designed by Auckland’s RTA Studio, it’s hard to miss. Almost rock-like in its presence, the building presses down on the earth and one end appears to sink right into it. Superbly modern, the architecture is worthy of the world’s most advanced freight-forwarding company. Hellmann Worldwide Logistics operates 443 branches in 157 countries and employs in excess 16,500 people to serve their customers worldwide.
The new Auckland facility has positioned the firm to deliver a new and expanding level of service to its international and domestic customers. It has also united Hellmann’s two previously-separate Auckland operations in one location.
Hellmann New Zealand’s managing director, Chris McCagney says, “Our owners, Jost and Klaus Hellmann, have committed Hellmann globally to a very high bar in terms of service excellence, quality, innovation and environmental care. This development ticks all the right boxes. The move to this unique facility at Auckland Airport will bring together the ambient and controlled-temperature operations of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics and Hellmann Perishable Logistics in Auckland onto a single prime site, increasing our agility, operating efficiency and capacity for growth.”
“A key driver was to look at the wider environment and trends, both here and particularly overseas, to understand the types of customer needs we expect to be servicing in the future and the infrastructure that requires, we also worked to ensure we didn’t box ourselves into any corners and built in the flexibility and scale to adapt and grow as tomorrow’s requirements reveal”.
“Increasingly we are seeing customers who require multiple types of infrastructure across the supply chain and to be able to obtain that from one company, on a single site is a very compelling proposition.”
Mr McCagney says sustainability and minimising ozone depletion/ global warming impacts were other key drivers in the build, so as to maximise the potential for customers to trade off “clean and green”.
“Our refrigeration plant utilises ammonia which has a very low carbon footprint and by installing a large air-cooled condenser, this plant requires no water or other chemicals. We’ve also invested in high-end electric forklifts, variable speed drives, EC fans, LED lighting and daylight harvesting to minimise power usage.
“The green aspect of this facility is huge and we have also become a much more efficient business.”
UFL worked closely with top management personnel, to create a polished, efficient and fun head office. We were asked to deliver a complete design and supply package, which included the boardroom and meeting room, the reception area and counter complete with custom joinery, spatial office design for 60 staff which included a huge amount of desking and mobile storage units, also breakout spaces and a huge, vibrant and friendly café. Eclipse Architecture were also involved in the design of the interior. Colour design was required and saw us pairing neutral greys, blues and blacks with chrome finishes, and bright yellow within the upholstery and polypropylene used in the chairs.
Mr McCagney says a focus on people and fostering a culture drove the integrated nature of the design, which has turned traditional warehousing form on its head by incorporating an office within the overall build.
“A key aspect of this is the cafeteria which we have designed in an open-plan form within the two-storey administration area. When a customer arrives at the reception foyer they are instantly integrated within the ‘marketplace’ of our staff in the cafeteria as well as having sight-lines further into the warehouse operation.
“The new facility is an exemplar of how you can create a really exciting form of architecture in a functional industry build, and that speaks volumes to what is the Hellmann brand and the Hellmann Family ethos — we are showing the way forward in quality of facilities and workplace.”
Praising owners Jost and Klaus Hellmann for seeing the value in good design and showing the faith to “let us get on with running the business”, Mr McCagney also emphasises the huge commitment this investment shows in the local market.
“A unique fourth-generation company that is about to move into the fifth, Hellmann has been operating in New Zealand for close to 30 years now. We’ve been proudly working with a number of our customers for a long period of that time and this facility will ensure we are positioned to continue to replicate our past successes going forward.
“This is a truly world-class, landmark development and in another 20 years’ time I believe it will still stand out as a magnificent, flexible, ecological and efficient facility. Hellmann has made a clear statement to those servicing the New Zealand logistics industry that if you want to be in this business, then you need to invest — because here is the new standard.”
Hellmann was a project that challenged due to its manifold nature. Logistics aside, one that attested UFL’s ability to do it all, a one-stop-shop.
All furniture was sourced from Italy, Spain and Australia and local manufacturers.