Cricket’s Colos­seum

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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.

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