Client: SDC/NIAB
Location: Cambridge
Status: Complete


The new Crop Science facility brings together a range of disciplines and departments from the University of Cambridge to work alongside NIAB’s agronomic and breeding expertise to provide leadership in crop science, generating a dynamic research community whilst training a new generation of researchers in crop science.

Saunders Boston Associates (SBA) was appointed by Contractor SDC from Stage 3 to assist with value engineering and delivery of the new reception lobby, the DEFRA Building and the Crop Science Building.  Services included an FF&E and finishes design proposal at stage 3+.

The lobby has been constructed using cross laminated timber (CLT) technology and features exposed CLT beams extending through the curtain wall, forming an elegant and pertinent connection between building and landscape.

The interior scheme is warm and welcoming, with soft forms and naturally beautiful materials. The bespoke reception desk and layout are designed to encourage flow through the space, with sightlines to social spaces, link corridors, stairs and meeting rooms.  Extensive glazing in the foyer brings all the beauty of the surrounding landscaping and changing light in to the space. The combination of activities anticipated in the foyer called for distinct zoning and careful specification of furniture solutions, where possible achieving some acoustic separation whilst preserving uninterrupted views across the space and beyond.

This project achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating, a great achievement in view of the budget constraints.

Project Scope

  • Welcoming foyer
  • Social space with servery
  • Informal meeting / collaboration space
  • Touch down bench
  • Display area
  • Meeting and conference facilities
  • Laboratories including growth and culture rooms, etc
  • Offices
  • Boot room