In our previous post, we visited the life and philosophy of Jan Kaplicky, the extraordinary Czech architect, considered by many as the champion of neo-futurism. He gave a new meaning to word “architecture” through his pathbreaking philosophy and style; his buildings were no mere ‘boxes’ as he believed that people were themselves not boxes. He always tried out technologically imaginative solutions due to his concern for the way man was hell-bent upon destroying the environment. We are presenting today one of his exceptional designs that aptly demonstrates his philosophy, his love for avant-garde architecture.
Lord’s media center: An amazing mix of traditional and ultra-modern
The Lord’s cricket ground, London is considered as the Mecca of cricket. The patronage of this historic cricket ground lies with MaryleboneCricket Club, a body traditionalist to the core; yet MCC has always encouraged out-of-the-box style for their structures. No wonder that when there was a proposal to build a swanky media center just before 1999 cricket world cup, the project was awarded to Jan Kaplicky’s Future Systems; and Kaplicky turned this ordinary-looking project into a lifetime opportunity!
In line with the new millennium
Kaplicky has always had the tendency to play with forms and shapes besides employing the newest
technologies for his buildings, and MCC wanted exactly that for the media center project. This was going to be the last cricket world cup of the millennium and they wanted to build something to welcome the new millennium. The result was stunning- the world’s first full aluminium, semi-monocoque building! The Lord’s media center is a 650 square meters double-story structure that accommodates about one hundred press personnel on the ground floor and has television and radio broadcasting centers on the first.
An amazing structure
The media center stands 15 meters above the ground, almost the same as the pavilion on the opposite end of the ground. It’s a pathbreaking structure with its aerodynamic contours reflecting the sweep of the plan of the ground; the enclosing skin is formed by a smooth, seamless while shell. The west facing glazing is the only opening in the structure which is inclined to avoid any glare or reflections while providing an unobstructed view of the game down below.
Fitted in a shipyard!
Jan Kaplicky was well known for his innovative flair and the Lord’s media center couldn’t be an exception. This new-millennium building was not built and fitted by the construction industry but by a boatyard! The credit of using this amazing boat building technology to Pendennis Shipyard, Falmouth in Cornwall together with Centraalstaal from the Netherlands.
The Lord’s media center, one of the most innovative buildings of the century, reflects the true genius of the Czech master Jan Kaplicky. It’s truly a neo-futuristic wonder and gave him the much deserved acclaim that actually came very late in his career. We shall come up with more creations of the legendary architect in our next posts. Please keep sending your invaluable views and feedback to help us make our posts more interesting and informative.
About the author
Sandeep Singh is an architect from IIT Roorkee. He is a prolific writer and a sensitive poet. His professional posts mostly cover the future in Architecture. His books are chiefly devoted to the inner and outer battles that a disabled person in India faces every day.
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By PaddyBriggs – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4922929