Lord’s Redevelopment: Compton and Edrich Stands

Lord’s Cricket Ground, St John’s Wood, London

Established in 1814, Lord’s Cricket Ground is internationally renowned as the Home of Cricket. Responding to an increasingly competitive sporting environment, the north-west London ground is undergoing upgrade work to steadily improve facilities in accordance with a staged masterplan.

This approach allows continued hosting of matches while increasing operational efficiency to enhance spectator experience. The programme began with the first phase redeveloping the Warner Stand in 2014 and is scheduled to continue until 2032.

The second phase of the masterplan encompasses redevelopment of the Compton and Edrich stands, which are situated either side of the distinctive aluminium Media Centre at the famous Nursery End of the ground. A three-tier arrangement will take capacity of the new stands from 9,000 to 11,600 seats. There will also be wheelchair spaces, additional accessible seating and modern associated amenities. Other features include food and beverage concessions, new washrooms and a high-level connecting walkway for improved crowd circulation. Unlike the current stands, the top level will be partially covered.

Challenge

A key requirement has been development of a coherent design and construction strategy. This procedure had to embrace the refined aesthetic identity and broad user-friendliness of the new stands while delivering the client ambition to complete the first phase – demolition and replacement superstructure – within a six-month, off-season period. This deadline means that the stands can be used to watch the innovative 100-ball format of the game being introduced in 2020.

It was important to maintain the architectural vision, which includes circulation spaces on a constrained site that has interfaces with adjacent structures. Below ground, limitations include existing foundations and a shallow Thames Water tunnel.

A cricket match at Lords Cricket Ground
This development is part of a coherent masterplan for Lord’s, which first opened on the St John’s Wood site in 1814. Image: MCC

Solution

Buro Happold worked closely with the architects – WilkinsonEyre – and the wider project team during the concept design stage. We developed a range of options to fulfil the architectural intent while addressing site constraints.

The primary aim of the design was to develop an integrated solution that complements the architect’s proposal and creates open, flexible spaces for optimal spectator experience. The proposed solutions meet these requirements while maximising the opportunity to standardise structural components, facilitate prefabrication and enable off-site construction.

View from the stands at Lords Cricket Ground
The three-tier structures improve the spectator experience while taking the ground’s capacity to over 31,000. Image: MCC

Value

Lord’s requires stands of significant merit that integrate with users and the ground’s character throughout execution of the masterplan and beyond. Such a transformation not only enriches this exceptional venue for players and fans but also reinforces the venue’s reputation for commissioning excellence in architecture.

Consulting on 14 disciplines throughout this project, the Buro Happold team has proved uniquely capable of co-creating outcome-focused solutions to complex engineering problems without compromising function or form.

By understanding client aspiration for the stands and how this relates to broader venue objectives, Buro Happold’s expertise is helping to ensure that Lord’s remains the best place in the world to watch and play cricket.

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