Lords Media Centre is a cricket venue in St John’s Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the European Cricket Council (ECC). The Centre is designed by Future Systems architects and was commissioned in time for the 1999 Cricket World Cup and was the first all aluminium, semi-monocoque building in the world. The pod is made from 26 three-metre aluminium sections that are welded together, sanded down and spray-painted. The advantage of this method of construction is that it provides both a waterproof shell and the structural elements in one material. The window wall that looks out onto the pitch is made from toughened laminated glass, inclined at 25 degrees so that it does not reflect sunlight into the eyes of the players.

Arch2O Lords Media Centre Architecture Future Systems-07

Future Systems- Photo courtesy of Brandusa Bularca

The following information is from Future Systems:

There exists at Lord’s a tradition of patronage of innovative structures. The objective of the design has been to respect and savour the essential nature of Lord’s while bringing to it a building that will herald the coming millennium and provide the most elegant and state-of-the-art media centre in the world. The NatWest Media Centre at Lord’s is one of the most innovative buildings this century. It is the first all aluminium semi-monococque building in the world and represents a breakthrough, not just in the creation of a new three-dimensional aesthetic but in its method of construction. This building was built and fitted out not by the construction industry but by a boatyard, using the very latest advances in boat building technology. Raised 15m above the ground, the aerodynamic contours of the building reflect the sweep of the plan of the Ground with the enclosing skin formed by a smooth, white, seamless shell. The west facing glazing is inclined to avoid any glare or reflections while providing unobstructed views of the game for the world’s media.

Future Systems- Photo courtesy of Brandusa Bularca
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