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Lord's Cricket Ground second grandstand, site of
St John's Wood Road, London NW8, UK
associated engineer
Oscar Faber
Stanley Vaughan
date  1923 - 1926
era  Modern  |  category  Stadium/Arena/Pool  |  reference  TQ267827
Lordís Cricket Ground is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and has occupied its current site since 1814. Lordís remains a world-class venue for cricket and hosted the archery competition of the London Olympic Games in 2012.
It is named after Thomas Lord (1755-1832), a cricketer who founded the first ground in 1787 ó the present Lordís is the third ground to bear the name. In 1889, the foundation stone was laid for the MCC pavilion ó the beginning of a long and proud built heritage on the site. The ground is home both to cricket and to a range of notable structures that have appeared over the years. In 1923, Oscar Faber worked on the second grandstand, sadly now gone.
The 1889 pavilion was designed by architect Thomas Verity (1837-91), a renowned Victorian theatre designer, and it is still with us today ó a Grade II* listed building. It houses the famous Long Room and balconied dressing rooms for competitors.
In 1923, architect Herbert Baker was appointed to redevelop the second grandstand, to increase crowd capacity and improve the viewing experience. Faber, who had at that time just embarked with Baker on the rebuilding of the Bank of England, was appointed as structural engineer. He had recently finished working for contracting firm Trollope & Colls, where he worked extensively with reinforced concrete.
In starting his own consultancy (named simply 'Oscar Faber'), Faber had engaged Stanley Vaughan as his chief assistant. Vaughan was a structures specialist and later became one of Faber's partners. He was instrumental in the design of the new two-tier reinforced concrete grandstand. Faber's own career would become increasingly multi-disciplinary and he would become known for his heating, ventilation and air-conditioning design work, as well as reinforced concrete and steelwork design. However, the Lord's stand was an early project and he was still much engaged in concrete research.
The new stand complex ran along one side of the cricket ground in front of the main score-box and continued round across the full width of what is known at Lord's as the Nursery End. Its design was forward-thinking and understated. The seating banks were suspended from a raked, balanced-cantilever structural arrangement.
A colonnade consisting of continuous flat arches supported by columns at 5.8m centres formed the spine of the stand. A lower flight of stepped seating was cantilevered from the column arrangement, projecting towards the playing area. A second flight of seats, balanced against the lower one, extended back from the spine but at a height increased by that of the columns, to give an overall suspended viewing terrace 14.6m high, all supported from the central parade of columns.
The second grandstand opened in time for the 1926 Ashes Test Match between England and Australia in June. The same year, Baker was knighted and he donated the famous 2m tall Old Father Time weather vane that was mounted atop the stand ó it was moved to the Mound Stand in 1996. He also designed the W.G. Grace memorial gates that were erected at the St John's Wood Road entrance in 1923, now Grade II listed.
The stand Faber and Vaughan designed remained in position for over 70 years. It added to the rich design tradition at Lord's that in recent years has come to include structures designed by architects Michael Hopkins & Partners, Future Systems and Grimshaw ó indeed the building designed by Nicholas Grimshaw (built 1996-98) now occupies the site of Baker's grandstand. In 2009, Swiss architect Herzog & de Meuron revealed their new master plan for Lord's.
Architect: Sir Herbert Baker
Supervising engineer: Stanley Vaughan
Research: ND
bibliography
"Oscar Faber, his work, his firm, & afterwards" by John Faber,
Quiller Press, London 1989
"Wonderful London, Vol II" ed. Arthur St John Adcock,
Amalgamated Press London, 1926-7
"The President, 1955-1956", profile of Stanley Vaughan, Institution of Structural Engineers, October 1955
"Herzog & de Meuron upgrade for Lord's cricket ground unveiled" by Hayley Chivers, in Architects' Journal, London, 18th November 2009
www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk
www.lords.org
Location

Lord's Cricket Ground second grandstand, site of