Metal Mesh For Cult Stadium Boosts Safety and Aesthetics at the Oval Cricket Ground

December 13, 2016

The Oval Cricket Ground – also known as The Oval or Kia Oval – is one of the world’s best-known cricket stadiums. Since it was built in the London suburb of Kennington in 1858 it has experienced numerous refurbishments and extensions. When choosing a façade material for the latest extensions, Rolfe Judd Architects, from London, chose around 5,600 square feet of the innovative Tigris Twist metal mesh from GKD. 

Established in 1858, the Oval is the home of Surrey County Cricket Club (Surrey CCC) and also hosts national and international matches. During the course of the latest extension and modernization, the existing stand at the Vauxhall End was replaced by a new stand named after the legendary cricketer Peter May. This offers space for 1,450 more cricket fans, thus taking the overall capacity of the stadium to 25,300 seats. Visitors benefit from generous spectator areas housing a new restaurant, a bar, a large hall on the first floor spanning almost 14,000 square feet that can also be used for exhibitions and events, additional sanitary facilities and a roof terrace offering Surrey CCC members a fantastic view of the pitch. 

The neighboring Laker Stand was also subjected to alterations: seats on the first floor were replaced and a new viewing platform built. In addition, The Oval was given a new exterior façade. A total of nearly 5,600 square feet of GKD’s innovative Tigris Twist stainless steel mesh with gold-coated weft wire encircle the oval stadium, serving as both fall guard protection and a net to catch stray balls. The special cable construction of the new mesh type allows the mesh design to be twice as open as conventional weaves. 

As a result, apertures of 25 to 40 mm between the weft wires can be realized. Rolfe Judd Architects opted for an opening size of 25 mm. The mesh type guarantees the flexibility of cable meshes and can be wrapped around edges, thus enabling the high-quality appearance of the cable mesh to be combined with the openness of conventional PC fabrics. 

This advantage of the woven membrane was successfully utilized at The Oval, where it was deflected twice at the bottom edge. In order to attain the oval form, the trapezoidal steel frame structure is gently shaped into an oval. Rectangular mesh elements are fixed in this form with the proven mounting means consisting of round rods and eyebolts. The trapezoidal shape is realized by means of different joint widths.