CHALLENGE. The new Warner Stand is the first phase of MCC’s ambitious masterplan-led redevelopment, and is located in the western corner of Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Lord’s is not a traditional stadium, in the sense that the various stands that surround the pitch each have a separate identity that contribute to the character of the Ground. Inserting a new building with its own clear and confident identity into this existing ‘campus’ of buildings, without dominating the overall composition, has been the main architectural challenge for the project.
INNOVATION. The stand has been designed to significantly improve the view for spectators, whilst also exceeding best practice standards for accessibility so that it is fully inclusive. Spaces within the building include a state-of-the-art match control suite for officials and the emergency services, bars and other facilities for spectators, and a 135-cover restaurant with magnificent views over the Ground. The building has been designed so that the restaurant can be used throughout the year for dining or as an event space.
The roof of the stand is formed from translucent tensile fabric, supported on cantilevering American White Oak beams that radiate dramatically from this corner of the Ground. The canopy provides protection from the elements, whilst also ensuring that spectators benefit from both shade and natural light. A unique atmosphere is created in the restaurant, as the fabric roof is both translucent and insulating; it is the first use of this kind of fabric in Europe, and the extensive glazing with very large sliding sashes allow occupants of the restaurant to enjoy the ambience of the Ground, from within the building.
The height of the building has also been carefully calculated so that it sits comfortably within the collection of buildings at Lord’s, particularly the Grade II* listed Pavilion.
IMPACT. Sustainability has also been at the forefront of the design thinking. 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. Rainwater is collected from the roof and stored at basement level, before being recycled for the flushing of WCs.
Improving the experience for visitors to Lord’s is a priority, with increased areas for circulation, high quality bars and food outlets, and even a hamper collection point. The landscaping around the stand will contribute to the safe, inclusive and enjoyable environment.
Planning consent was granted in 2014 and the project is now under construction. The new Warner Stand will welcome its first spectators, albeit in partially-constructed form, in the 2016 season and will be complete to take its place within the famous ground in the spring of 2017.