His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has officially opened MCC's new £25 million Warner Stand at Lord's.
The Warner Stand, which has been built over the course of the last two winters, is the first new stand at Lord’s since the Grand Stand was completed in 1998.
The original Warner Stand was opened in May 1958 by the celebrated former England captain Sir Pelham Warner, after whom it was named.
The new structure marks the first major phase of development in the ‘Masterplan for Lord’s’, which was published in May 2013.
With a capacity of 2,656, the striking new stand has been designed to deliver an enhanced spectator experience for MCC Members and their guests, and a significant upgrade to facilities, to ensure Lord’s remains the most prestigious ground in the world at which to play and watch international cricket.
Among many benefits, the new stand will offer much improved sight lines, enhanced circulation, a world-class match control facility and an outstanding restaurant and catering provision, whilst ensuring a number of sustainable features to help further reduce the Club's carbon footprint.
The new Warner Stand has been designed by Populous, the world-reknowned sports architects of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, engineered by Arup, supervised by Gardiner + Theobold and built by BAM Construction.
It will be available to use for the first time during Sunday's historic Royal London One Day International match between England and Ireland.
Robert Ebdon, MCC's Assistant Secretary (Estates), said: "Today was a landmark moment for the Club, and we are very grateful to His Royal Highness for joining us to celebrate the official opening of the Warner Stand.
"MCC has always sought to commission innovative, unique buildings and stands that add to and complement the heritage of the ground and its surroundings. Populous' design does just that, and this truly outstanding facility will be enjoyed by visitors to Lord's for many years to come.
Today is a landmark moment for the club
"It has been a real team effort to get to this point as, with its tight geographical location at Lord's, it was a challenging brief to our design and construction partners.
"From the vast improvement in facilities and sight lines to the impressive semi-translucent roof with oak beams, the new Warner Stand can rightly take its place alongside its architecturally-celebrated neighbouring stands."
The new Warner Stand becomes the first new Members’ and Friends’ enclosure to be built since the Tavern Stand in 1967 and is located between the Grade II* listed Pavilion and the Grand Stand.
Highlights of the development include a 135-cover restaurant - Pelham's - from which diners may enjoy stunning views across the Ground, a superb match control facility and a semi-translucent fabric roof, supported by cantilevered oak beams – the first of its kind used in Europe.
The stand exceeds best practice for accessibility and includes numerous sustainable features. In addition to rainwater recycling, a green roof over the rear part of the building, and green walls on the garden façade, solar thermal and photovoltaic 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; the heating and cooling system is exceptionally energy-saving, and also uses zero fossil fuels.
The £25 million funding came entirely from MCC’s existing cash reserves.
The Duke of Edinburgh cut a ribbon and unveiled a plaque to open the Warner Stand, with guests joining him in Pelham’s for lunch.
His Royal Highness has a long association with MCC; he was awarded Honorary Life Membership in 1948, and served as President of the Club twice, from 1949-50 and 1974-75.