WilkinsonEyre’s £53 million redevelopment at Lord’s Cricket Grounds replaced two ageing stands to improve spectator facilities and boosts the ground’s capacity to 31,600.
The two stands, collectively seating 11,600 spectators – an addition 2,600 seats–, are connected by a bridge overlooking the grounds and beyond to St John’s Wood Church Gardens. As well as increasing capacity and improving views of the grounds, the new stands house catering services, including a pair of restaurants named after the stands’ namesakes – Compton’s and The Edrich –, and a shop. Toilets are now located on each level to reduce time away from the match, and lifts and wheelchair-accessible spaces have been added.
“The earlier stands, at the ground’s Nursery (eastern) End, had become inadequate to the needs of modern spectators, with restricted sightlines in the lower tiers and upper tiers entirely exposed to the elements,” says a statements from WilkinsonEyre on the practice’s website.
“The new stands add to a collection of buildings that uphold the ‘Village Green’ ambience which remains at the heart of Lord’s identity.”
The stands are defined by curving white canopies that pay homage to the form of the Jan Kaplicky-designed Media Centre (1999) that stands between them.
The stands were constructed by ISG and engineered by Buro Happold with a superstructure combining 2,000 tonnes of steel with 1,300 sections of pre-cast concrete. The seats within have been recycled from the previous stands in a bid to reduce waste.
“A rapid-build design was developed to minimise disruption to the cricket calendar, although in the event much of the construction took place during the 2020 pandemic,” says a statements from WilkinsonEyre.
The stands are named in honour of the late cricketing stars Denis Compton and Bill Edrich.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) President, Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara, opened the stands today during the first test match with a full crowd since the pandemic broke in 2019.
“One of the key focuses during my tenure as President was the development of Lord’s as a leading venue in world cricket, and it’s an incredible moment to see this ambition achieved and full of life with cricket supporters enjoying the stands,” said Sangakkara.
“It’s been excellent to see the progress of the redevelopment over the past two years. In what has been a challenging time for everybody, finally opening these stands fully to be enjoyed by cricket supporters for this Test match is a significant moment,” added MCC Chief Executive and Secretary Guy Lavender. “There has been an incredible amount of hard work to achieve this milestone.”