Four-storey headquarters built in central London using off-site construction to reduce programme time, congestion and disruption


London City Airport is one of Europe’s leading airports for business travel. It is an important provider of air travel for the South East, supporting the growth of the city and the regeneration of East London.

As passenger numbers continue to grow, plans are in place to expand current operations to handle eight million passengers per year by 2030. To support this growth, the airport needed a new purpose-designed 3,000m2 headquarters to make way for the Docklands Light Railway extension. The original City Aviation House was positioned exactly in line with the route of the rail track and so had to be demolished.

“City Aviation House is an excellent building, which is performing well. The Portakabin Design and Build solution is easy to install and suits our requirements, particularly the shorter timespans and greater convenience.”

Mike McDermot, Senior Project Manager, London City Airport


Main contractors AMEC awarded a £3.3m contract to the Portakabin Group for the design and construction of a four-storey replacement office building. The advanced, versatile Portakabin Design and Build solution was chosen to create the building, and the Portakabin Group was responsible for all fitting out and mechanical and electrical (M&E) services.

Mike McDermot, Senior Project Manager for the City Aviation House project at London City Airport, says: “This is a fast-moving business and we have to react quickly to the changing requirements of our customers. The modular building method gives us the opportunity to create space and provide additional accommodation rapidly, and with the least possible disruption.”

The scheme involved manufacturing 76 steel-framed modules off-site at the Portakabin Group production centre. The units were installed on site to create a building featuring open-plan and cellular office accommodation, meeting rooms, a canteen and a boardroom, with toilets and stores on each floor.

The new City Aviation House building was handed over on time and on budget, less than six months after work started on site.

Building Location


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