The oval cricket ground, London Se11, is to undergo a groundbreaking redevelopment by ADAM Architecture, which will transform it into a ‘modern-day colosseum’ and the largest cricket stadium in the UK, with a capacity of 40,000, in time for the Ashes in 2023 (above). the Bedser Stand will be reworked to seat 8,000 and contain commercial buildings facing the street on either side of the grand pavilion, which will bring new life to the surrounding area.
‘the time is now right for cricket to think on a bigger scale,’ says Surrey ccc chairman Richard thompson, who points out that, so far this summer, the club has seen ‘unprecedented levels of demand for cricket at the Kia oval, whether it was for the icc champions trophy, the 100th test, which takes place in July, or to watch Surrey in the t20 Blast. We need to build on this success and have a ground that can satisfy the unprecedented demand we’ve created.’
in 2013, director of Adam Architecture hugh petter recast the entrance to the grounds, sweeping away unsightly buildings to make space for a large forecourt enclosed by iron railings and entered on an axis through the restored hobbs Gate. he also incorporated a four-storey portico, befitting the entrance to a great public building.
his work, which for the first time in its 172-year history gave the Kia oval ‘a frontage worthy of its status’ according to Country Life Architectural editor John Goodall, was commended in the Georgian Group Awards that year. ‘there is more than just good cricket to anticipate in the near future at the oval,’ says Dr Goodall.