Firm lands plum job within Herzog & de Meuron masterplan for cricket ground’s expansion

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris has been picked to design the luxury apartments that will bankroll the £400 million redevelopment of Lord’s cricket ground.

The architect is working up plans for developer Almacantar which was chosen by Lord’s owner Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) earlier this year to mastermind the overhaul of the north London ground.

News of AHMM’s appointment is now expected to accelerate work on the job which has been hit by a series of problems since Herzog & de Meuron won the masterplan competition in summer 2008.

The Swiss practice is believed to be no longer working on the Lords project, and this week Almacantar chief executive Mike Hussey confirmed it was only working with AHMM on the scheme.

“Allford Hall is working with us on everything,” Hussey told BD. “The Herzog & de Meuron masterplan was very relevant [when we were bidding] but we’re using a different architect.”

A spokeswoman for Herzog & de Meuron, which beat BDP, David Chipperfield, Dixon Jones and Hopkins to the prize, said: “We were involved but the project went on hold.”

As well as residential, AHMM’s work includes a cricket academy, museum and library, shops and exhibition space. But Hussey said the brief did not include the MCC’s plans to expand ground capacity from 28,500 to 37,000. “The only thing we haven’t been asked to look at by the MCC is the Compton and Edrich stands,” he said.

Herzog & de Meuron’s original plan included five blocks of residential apartments but this hit the buffers following the 2008 housing crash, and BD understands that no more than 100 apartments will now be built.

The majority are expected to run across a maximum of 250sq m and cost between £2 and 3 million, although Almacantar is expecting some buyers to demand bigger units.

Hussey, the former head of Land Securities’ London division, declined to comment on the number of apartments being planned but admitted: “The residential is needed for the funding. We haven’t got a detailed layout yet but where Herzog & de Meuron had a larger number of units we might think about a smaller number.”

The work will take place on land behind the ground’s Nursery End — location of Future Systems’ Media Centre. The scheme is AHMM’s highest profile project in its 22-year history after its involvement with Rogers Stirk Harbour in the Chelsea Barracks scheme was scuppered by the intervention of Prince Charles two years ago.

Work will not start until after next year’s Olympics when the cricket ground will be used as the archery venue.