Designing For Cricket
David Morley


Lord's Cricket Ground. Aerial View

©Patrick Eager

I'm going to talk about designing for cricket with specific reference to contemporary developments at Lords Ground. Lords Ground is in North West London and is renowned world-wide as being the headquarters of cricket. It's the centre for the arbitration of the laws of cricket internationally and it's the venue for local, national and international cricket matches. The game of cricket is a traditional English game which evolved during the 18th century and remains a focal point of rural life in England, English villages, and has also become a game of international importance played in many countries throughout the world The Match Ground at Lords shown in the foreground of this slide is related to a Practice Ground on the left and beyond that is a garden. And the garden and the Practice Ground and the Match Ground combine together to form a generous rectangular park-like setting in the heart of St. John's Wood which is one of the oldest suburbs of London. Beyond that is Regents Park and the West End of London shown in the distance. The earliest developments of the Ground at Lords set up an evolution of a series of distinct individual buildings rather than creating a homogenuous enclosed sporting arena. The Ground is developed more as a village cricket ground but on a grand scale.


Lord's Cricket Ground. The Mound Stand

©Dennis Gilbert, Architectural Photographs

In the 1980s the MCC who own Lords Ground recognised that to sustain their role as the premier cricket club in the world, they should reflect their leading role in the built environment they create, and they launched a competition for a new stand, the Mound Stand which was won by Sir Michael Hopkins. By the way, MCC stands of Marylebone Cricket Club. The Mound Stand is exemplary as a contemporary structure which harmoniously combines with the original structure. The new accommodation uses contemporary technologies, materials and structural concepts to float effortlessly above the original Mound Stand which was a massive brick arch structure below. This building has been the first of many subsequent buildings which have combined contemporary technologies with traditional references in a harmonious, friendly, humane way. Such was the success of the Mound Stand development that the MCC were encouraged to adopt their pursuit of excellence in architectural design in all of their subsequent projects which they commissioned They also recognised that it was important to unify and link the individual distinct buildings with a clear master plan for the entire grounds.

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