Women's Institute Headquarters

EllisMiller, Cambridge, 2004


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The Women's Institute Headquarters, Cambridge 

Tim Soar     Download Original

  • The Women    
  • The front of the building viewed side on    
  • The renewed rear of the building    
  • Traces of the farrowing house are incorporated into the rear of the new HQ    
  • The sliding oak barn door shutter for solar shading and security.    
  • Looking out onto the agricultural landscape from within the building    
  • Similar to a pavilion, the building maintains many views out into the landscape    
  • The section provides clerestory lighting and an exposed heavyweight ceiling soffit    
  • The simple space is gradually appropriated by the members    
  • Longitudinal views help open up the small building    
  • An office space    
  • Members of the Women    
  • Site plan    
  • Plan    
  • Long section    
  • North elevation    
  • South elevation    
  • Site impressions    
  • Development sketch    
  • Concept collage    

Conversion of a disused pig farrowing shed into an RIBA award-winning headquarters for the Women's Institute

The building is relatively small, consisting of three offices, kitchen, toilet and store. The space inside is simple and has reached good environmental standards, with an increased thermal capacity due to the retaining of the existing walls and structure.

A light shelf, on the main (south-west) elevation, allows natural light into the space, while photovoltaics provide energy for the building. Sliding oak shutters slide across the glazed panels to the meeting room, office and main entrance to give security, solar control and black-out conditions. The canopy supports spell out W.I.


  • Begun: Mar 2004
  • Completed: 2004
  • Floor area: 169m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £307,500
  • Tender date: Feb 2004
  • Procurement: JCT Intermediate Form incorporating amendments 1-5; specification and drawings tendered in competition
  • Address: Women's Institute Office, Oakington Road, Girton, Cambridge, CB3 0QH, United Kingdom

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