MCC has released plans for the first major phase of its redevelopment of Lord’s – an innovative replacement for the Warner Stand.
The stand will dramatically improve the views from 600 seats that currently have very poor sightlines, and provide a new state-of-the-art match control and match officials’ facility. It also includes a spectacular 135-seat restaurant with commanding views over the Ground.
A new Warner Stand
The new stand, which has been designed by Populous – the architects of such iconic sports venues as the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, Emirates Stadium and the redevelopment and roof of the Centre Court at Wimbledon – combines world-class facilities with innovative architecture.
- Two tiers of seating on a steeper gradient than the current stand, to greatly improve sightlines;
- A new match control and match officials’ facility which will exceed ICC and ECB standards and make Lord’s a world leader in this area;
- More spectator amenities within the stand, including the restaurant, three bars and catering facilities;
- The relocation and incorporation of the existing retractable floodlight, both to improve light coverage on the pitch and to integrate the floodlight mast with the architecture;
- Improved access to the stand with inclusive facilities for all spectators, and greater provision of seats for spectators with disabilities and mobility needs – totalling 4% of the overall capacity;
- Solar panels and ground source heat pumps to provide heating for water, and photovoltaic panels for electricity generation;
- An environmentally friendly system that collects and recycles water;
- An enlarged basement, with waste sorting and storage facilities, which will reduce the frequency of waste collection from the stand during the course of a match day.
Providing cover to the new stand will be a semi-translucent fabric roof, supported by a timber structure. This style of roof – the first of its kind in the country – will reduce shadowing from the stand on to the playing area, whilst also ensuring that those sitting in the stand benefit from both shade and a high degree of natural light.
The Warner Stand is being developed first for three principal reasons. First, to improve viewing for MCC Members and their friends; secondly, because of the need drastically to improve the match control and officials’ facilities; thirdly, because it is in the most constrained corner of the Ground, and MCC must build out from it.
As such, the relatively small capacity increase is simply a welcome by-product of improving the facilities and spectator experience.
MCC President Mike Gatting described it as an exciting day for Lord's: "It’s a major undertaking to put forward plans which will make significant changes to this wonderful Ground.
"The project team has proposed an excellent blend of pioneering architecture and practical facilities to provide Members and their friends with a wonderful place to watch cricket for many years to come.
"Lord’s may be the Home of Cricket and the place every cricketer wants to play, but it cannot stand still and must stay open for business during the course of construction. This spectacular new stand will help to ensure that MCC stays ahead of the game in terms of the facilities and spectator experience that are provided at Lord’s."
MCC is not seeking planning permission for the Masterplan as a whole. Instead the Masterplan provides a long-term context for separate planning applications.
The aim is to have completed a significant amount of the redevelopment at the Pavilion End of the Ground in time for the 2019 World Cup, which is being hosted in England.
Colin Maber, Chairman of MCC’s Estates committee, added: "This new stand will provide Members with more seats that offer an excellent view of cricket from an extremely popular location in the Ground.
"The existing stand has some 600 seats that were compromised by the rebuilding of the Grand Stand in 1998. The new Warner Stand has been creatively designed to both increase capacity and to offer great views for Members and their guests.
"It can be seen as a microcosm of what MCC is trying to achieve with its Masterplan – an improved spectator experience, facilities that will put the Club in the best possible position to host major matches, improved circulation around the Ground, all within an iconic architectural environment."
Philip Johnson, Principal at Populous, said working with MCC on the development of the 'Home of Cricket' was an enourmous privilege for Populous.
He added: "The design for this new stand provides high quality seating and premium facilities, with sustainability and inclusive access at the heart of the proposal.
"This is an important first step of the Masterplan, which will retain the unrivalled heritage and history of Lord’s, and ensure that it remains the world’s finest cricket ground. The architecture of each stand at Lord’s is a clear expression of the period in which it was built. Our design for the redevelopment of the Warner Stand continues this great tradition."
The planning application for the new stand – which will increase its overall capacity from around 2,800 to around 2,900 – was submitted to Westminster City Council on Friday 29 November.
If planning approval is granted and MCC Members subsequently give their approval, the new stand will become the first Members’ stand to be built at the Ground since the Tavern Stand in 1967.
The proposed budget for the new stand is £21 million, which is being funded directly by MCC.