• Enhancing the Home of Cricket

    29 May 2018

    The redevelopment of the Warner Stand at the world famous Lord’s Cricket Ground in London is one of the most significant projects in the world of sports architecture, creating a building to suit the unique architectural heritage and enhancing the fan experience at the ‘Home of Cricket’.

    In fulfilling the brief of the Marylebone Cricket Club (M.C.C.), London architects Populous have created a new stand that is deliberately bold and contemporary in nature, yet at the same time, sympathetic and sensitive to its place within the most historic of sporting arenas.

    Located between the Grade II* listed Pavilion and the Grand Stand, the new Warner Stand has been designed to deliver an enhanced spectator experience for members of M.C.C. and their guests occupying this part of the ground and represents a significant upgrade to facilities within the stand, ensuring that Lord’s retains its competitive advantage as the premier and most prestigious ground in the world to play and watch international cricket.

    The new Match Control Suite, located at the rear of the lower tier seating, is designed to exceed ICC (International Cricket Council) and ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) standards, positioning Lord’s facilities for officials and emergency services at the forefront of any currently available at global sports venues.

    Accessible Design

    Two tiers of seating combine to provide a total capacity of 2,674, while the innovative new stand has been designed to significantly improve the view from the stand, whilst also exceeding best practice standards for accessibility, so that it is fully inclusive for spectators with disabilities and mobility needs. In addition, the distance to, and speed with which, visitors can reach hospitality facilities and toilets from their seats has been greatly reduced.

    Other new spaces and facilities within the building combine to transform the spectator experience, but also boost non-match day income by revitalising the Lord’s offer of top-class hospitality facilities.

    The enlarged, 135-cover restaurant occupies a central position in the design, with impressive large sash, opening windows along the side of the room facing the pitch, offering stunning views over Lord’s. The restaurant is designed to heighten the feeling of connectivity of diners to the action on the pitch, rather than being removed from the spectators seated in the tier in front. Hence the decision was made to ensure that the roof possesses a very similar look and feel above both the restaurant and the seating tier.

    A white, translucent insulating tensile fabric membrane was designed for the roof over the restaurant, which is the first use of this material in Europe. The fabric is supported by American White Oak ‘engineered’ beams that form a series of structural ‘ribs’, which cantilever over the seating tier, radiating dramatically from the corner of the Ground. The overall form of the main roof is reminiscent of an elegantly spreading palm leaf, delicately folded, so that rainwater runs back to the rear edge of the roof.

    The water is collected at basement level and stored for reuse for the flushing of lavatories. Within the stand, the canopy provides protection from the elements, whilst the translucent qualities also ensure that spectators benefit from both shade and natural light. Sustainability has also been at the forefront of the design thinking. In addition to rainwater recycling, a green roof over the rear part of the building, and green walls on the rear facade, solar thermal and photovoltaic roof panels have been incorporated into the roof to generate hot water and electricity respectively. Boreholes and ground source heat pumps are also an integral part of the energy system, so that the heating and cooling system is carbon neutral.

    The project is the first phase of the extensive M.C.C. on the development of its masterplan. The new Lord’s Warner Stand is designed to fit and enhance the existing campus of buildings that constitutes the finest cricket ground in the world.

    For more information please visit www.populous.com

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