The brief was to design a flower farm on a given site, a plateau in Northamptonshire, mostly used for arable crops. Today only a few relics remain of the site's history as a World War II airfield; its most characteristic is its exposure to wind and sunlight. Springs have carved two natural valleys on either side of the plateau, linked by a virtual line across the plateau.
The site's exposed nature and adjoining watercourses suggested the design of a factory for edible oils and margarine. The architectural aim was to remake the landscape so that it, and the industrial process it was to accommodate, would be an organic part of each other. In this project a canyon is cut into the landscape, extending and connecting the two existing valleys, and accommodating the factory, which uses the existing spring as its water supply. The fields above grow rapeseed and sunflower, cultivated in annual rotation. Harvested, the oil seeds are taken to wind-drying racks that span the canyon, they drop gradually down into the factory for milling. The resultant oil flows slowly down an open conduit, an artificial river, at various stages of refinement being drawn off by gravity as crude oil, edible oil, or margarine. The products are bottled or packed on the canyon's bed, where they are loaded into lorries for dispatch. Close to the road is a public center, which is linked by a pedestrian path with a motel on the other side of the road. The motel is embedded in the canyon's slope that slightly remote from the rest of the factory—a place for truck drivers and visitors to stay. Integrating the oil factory into arable land allows for a reinterpretation of both industrial and rural landscapes. There is no opposition, organizational or conceptual, between the processes that take place in the fields and those in the canyon. Both are artifice, both are nature—works of man—but dependent on the natural cycles of water, wind, and the sun.