Cricket traditionally takes place on a village green, surrounded by a hierarchy of different buildings. At Lord’s, the pavilion is the centrepiece. Built for the Bicentenary of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) with a donation from Sir Paul Getty, the Mound Stand’s famous fabric canopy echoes the pavilion’s floating lead roof in material, which evokes temporary, celebratory buildings, the counterpart of a marquee at a village fête.
The brick arcade of the original 19th century Mound Stand was retained and extended, making the underside an attractive and usable public concourse. The seating tiers on the mound were renewed.
A new steel superstructure, supported on only six columns to minimise disruption to views, are linked by a plate girder, from which lattice trusses cantilever out, like ribs from a spine, forming the skeleton of a three-storey structure, which hovers over the mound below. Private boxes and dining rooms hang below the skeleton, while service rooms occupy the space between the ribs. A tier of raked seating backed by open-air restaurants and bars sits on top.
The six columns continue up to become masts supporting a flamboyant canopy of PVC-coated, polyester fabric. The whole structure is held back by tension members anchored to the ground and strapped to the brick piers below to stiffen them.
As cricket is played only in the summer, the building is unheated and uninsulated. The finishes are simple and unadorned. The private boxes have folding, frameless glass doors opening onto a raking balcony facing the wicket, with party walls of fairfaced concrete blockwork and rear walls, onto the corridor, of glass blocks in full-height panels.