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Textile refinement at Lord’s

More than 2,000 square metres of Flexlight Advanced 902 S2 fabric used for the project.

24th April 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  London


London-based practice Wilkinson Eyre Architects relied on the expertise of Serge Ferrari Group to wrap the canopies covering the newly-developed corner stands of Lord’s Cricket Ground in London —  the historical arena that has been home to the England and Wales Cricket Board since 1814.

In total, more than 2,000 square metres of Flexlight Advanced 902 S2 fabric was used for the project, complementing the 1,200 square metres of the company’s Précontraint 1002 T2 canvas previously installed in 2006 when the stand canopies were reclothed.

The original brief was to design a canopy for the corner stands on both sides of the Media Centre to keep spectators sheltered from weather conditions during matches. The use of Serge Ferrari’s membranes has contributed to overall design consistency throughout the stadium.

“The design is very much a response to the Media Centre which sits between the two stands and was something we wanted to engage and work with – we wanted to treat that end of the ground as a single composition.” explained lead project architect James Perry. “The Flexlight Advanced 902S2 fabric was selected following sample review and recommendations from the specialist sub-contractor building the canopies. I believe we used the fabric in a slightly unusual way by shaping it over a double curved frame and tensioning it at relatively small intervals.”

© Serge Ferrari Group

To reduce the weight and dimensions of the framework supporting the stands, the canopy needed to be as light as possible. The project’s designers opted for Flexlight Advanced 902 S2 – a fabric developed specifically for tensile architecture applications – to make the wood and metal structure lighter and thinner. The membrane’s durability, high mechanical resistance and ease of maintenance, along with its translucency and flexibility, make it a particularly valuable solution for large-scale construction projects.

The membrane was able to be adapted perfectly to the contours of the project, enabling great architectural freedom with the design’s double curved frame and hugging the shape of the wooden framework tightly.

“The Lord’s Cricket Ground project is indisputably a stunning example of textile architecture,” said Thomas Bonneville, tensile architecture envelope and acoustic comfort product manager at Serge Ferrari, which is headquartered in La Tour du Pin, France. “The choice of Flexlight Advanced 902 S2 for the canopy meets both the aesthetic and technical requirements of the project. The solution’s light weight, flexibility and resistance have enabled unfettered creativity while also preserving the identity of this iconic venue.”

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