Marylebone Cricket Club opens Arup-engineered Warner Stand

Marylebone Cricket Club opens Arup-engineered Warner Stand

Arup has collaborated with architects Populous and BAM to redevelop the Warner Stand at the world-famous Lord’s Cricket Ground, delivering innovative engineering solutions.

Working with client, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the team has also created a world-class hospitality venue contributing to the stand’s new unique identity.

The previous Warner Stand suffered from poor viewing angles due to shallow inclinations and the subsequent construction of the Grand Stand on the north boundary. Arup worked with Populous to design a new stand to address these issues; whilst respecting the architectural heritage and character of the existing buildings, including the Grade II* Listed Pavilion.  The new stand now provides an exceptional match-day experience as well as outstanding catering and entertaining facilities, which will be in use throughout the year.

To meet the complex challenge, Arup together with Populous, optimised the geometry of each seating tier to maximise the viewing experience. The resulting mix of geometries between the upper and lower tiers generated a misaligned structure, which is normally resolved via expensive transfer systems. The new stand avoided this through the careful integration of space and structure. The finished stand is a triumph of design where the outcome is an absence of structure.

The Warner Stand is much more than a spectator facility. A large restaurant space on the top floor provides exceptional views of the ground, together with bars on the lower tiers that have been designed to operate all year round. The outcome is an area that connects patrons to events on the field, whilst creating discrete spaces for socialising on match and non-match days alike. Populous achieved this by integrating large sash windows into the design, which are counterweighted and operational by hand, providing guests a direct connection with the rest of the Ground.

Arup’s work on the Warner Stand continues its ongoing partnership with MCC to deliver signature buildings at Lord’s. Arup has also provided the engineering designs for the Grand Stand, Mound Stand, and the Stirling Prize-winning Media Centre. This expertise builds on the consultancy’s portfolio of sporting projects, which includes the London Aquatics Centre and the Singapore Sports Hub.

Arup also provided services on the following disciplines: Fire Engineering; Pedestrian Modelling; Acoustics and Biodiversity.

Will Whitby, Lead Structural Engineer at Arup, said: “Our work on the Warner Stand at Lord’s Cricket Ground brings this historic sporting institution into the 21st Century, whilst retaining the club’s heritage look and feel. The improved sightlines and upgraded hospitality features, combined with behind-the-scenes improvements to matchday facilities, have enhanced this famous establishment, ensuring the viewer experience now matches its reputation for world-class cricket.”

Mike Donegan, Construction Director for BAM said: “Creating the new Warner Stand has been a very challenging pleasure for BAM! Alongside its engineering and design complexities, it has numerous logistical challenges too. Working around a client like the MCC has also been an important factor. A colossal amount of work and care has gone into the construction. There is no doubt that the team here has produced something very special for the members that will use the stand, and for the back of house teams that will benefit from fabulous new facilities.”

Philip Johnson, Populous Senior Principal and Project Lead, said “This is a very special moment for everyone at Populous, and a privilege for the practice to add to the wonderful heritage of the ‘Home of Cricket’. The new Warner Stand has been designed to complement the existing campus of buildings at Lord’s, providing excellent views of the action, world-class match control facilities, a number of bars, and a new restaurant with fantastic views overlooking the ground. Lord’s has a special place in the hearts of cricketers and fans, and this new stand will help cement its position as the finest cricket ground in the world.”

Jade Tilley
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