In 1999 the Lord’s skyline acquired a dramatic addition in the shape of the new Media Centre.
With the Ground scheduled to host the 1999 ICC Men’s World Cup Final, it was clear that the existing media facilities, concentrated in the Warner Stand and the north turret of the Pavilion, were far from adequate to accommodate more than 200 journalists, photographers and broadcasters who were expected to attend.
The choice of a site for the new facilities was simple - the Nursery End offered the only possible prospect of a view from behind the bowler’s arm without disturbing the Grade II* listed Pavilion. But the site came with challenges; the gap between the Compton and Edrich stands was too small to provide the required facilities and was also needed to allow access to the playing area for the groundstaff and their equipment. Clearly the new design would have to be very different from anything currently at the Ground and would need to ‘float’ above the existing stands.
Four companies were invited to tender for the project, with Future Systems’ innovative monocoque design winning out. The concept involved a ‘pod’, made up of 32 sections individually constructed at the Pendennis shipyard in Cornwall, resting on two reinforced concrete supports. After its construction in time for the 1999 World Cup, the building was widely acclaimed and won several awards, including the prestigious Stirling Prize for Architecture. Two decades on, it is hard to imagine Lord’s without it.