The National Institute for Agriculture Botany asked LLA to assist with a planning application to create new state of the art laboratories, conference room and meeting facilities. The original Huntingdon Road headquarters (based around the original 1920’s building) are to be sold then based at the new facilities on Lawrence Weaver Road site in Cambridge, creating an innovative new campus based on NIAB’s original Old Granary and John Bingham Laboratory site.
The three buildings – Weaver, John Bingham and Crop Science – plus a new reception area and conference room, includes offices, state-of-the-art laboratories, growth room facilities and meeting rooms, improving and modernising current facilities. The new development reflects NIAB’s ambitions and aspirations across the regional, national and international agri-science and business communities. Lawrence Weaver Road will be home to Cambridge Crop Research genetics and breeding, pathology and field crops research teams, NIAB Agronomy’s farming system and also base for the Crop Science Centre – a partnership with the University of Cambridge, formerly called 3CS.
LLA developed a series of ‘design concepts’ to optimise the site and environs, these concepts were further developed with Cambridge City Council to achieve a ‘holistic masterplan’ which responds to its immediate context but retains its own sense of place and prominence. One key driver for the landscape masterplan was to encompass separate access points for pedestrian/cycle users which will create safe and clear orientation to the main entrance points and cycle parking areas. The design created new cycle/pedestrian only access points from Lawrence Weaver Road and off the orbital cycleway (to the North and South West) thus increasing permeability and promoting more sustainable modes of transport to the site. Combined with bespoke, cycle parking areas it is envisaged that the site will form a benchmark for similar schemes within Cambridge.