Farm491 Workshops - Royal Agricultural University

SRA are delighted to have completed the construction of the new practical workshops and flexible workspaces for agritech research and development business Farm491, situated at the Royal Agricultural University’s farm based site at Harnhill in Gloucestershire.


Sitting within the footprint of an existing barn and complementing the rural farm setting, the project features double height workshop spaces, with pedestrian access doors to the farm on one side and roller shutter doors that provide access to the 491 hectares owned by the RAU on the other side. The high-spec facilities provide affordable, flexible co-working workspaces for agritech start-up companies to test, research and grow.


Today, there is an increasing need for agritech space within close proximity to working farms for hands on research and development. It is one of the country’s fastest growing sectors, and the intention is for the newly designed building to house a wide range of businesses, from precision agricultural firms to crop data, bioscience and agricultural drone research companies.


The facades and material interfaces have been carefully composed to express the internal uses and the designers have been mindful of detailing the untreated Siberian larch. Both materials are appropriate to a farm setting, and expressed as a material suitable not just for agricultural purposes but also for the development of technology and business incubation within this sector.

Flexible workshop spaces are presented in an open office environment, with branding cues integrated into the design, utilising yellow doors to highlight an aesthetic consistency within Farm 491 as a whole.

It’s likely that food production will have to increase by 70% to meet the global population’s future food needs. Currently, 40% of the world’s food is thrown away as waste, and in 2015, the UK government pledged £130 million to agricultural science and technology investment.
— Farm491