GREENER FUTURE FOR AGRICULTURE
The Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) is a not-for-profit organisation that undertakes scientific research and provides solutions to problems in agriculture and environment worldwide.
CABI, a significant local employer in the Wallingford area with over 140 staff, needed a new home and, having outgrown its old offices, set about creating a brief and competition for the new HQ. This was to be reflective of CABI’s ethos to create a sustainable, state of the art international headquarters with the aim of creating an attractive energy efficient working environment and key to the Brief, was that the building itself have minimal visual impact on the surrounding landscape. The landscape design geometry is based upon the building’s shifting massing with bandings of biodiverse plantings and wildflower meadows. The geometric pattern is then folded into natural native buffers that blend the space into the wider Chilterns AONB. Office workers can choose a variety of experiences, depending on their mood or weather, exploring the grounds on formal footpaths or meander openly on grass/wildflower meadows. The plantings are really maturing now ready for opening and recently, we spotted white-tailed bumblebees, honeybees, and butterflies! The scheme is an epitome of sustainability and modern design, one which everyone in the community can be proud of.