LARSEN & TOUBRO LTD
TUBEWORKERS LTD AND STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS LTD
WORLD CUP BARBADOS INC
The Worrell, Weekes and Walcott Stand (3Ws) is the largest and most ambitious structure within the re-developed Kensington Oval. It provides seating for 4000 spectators in two radial tiers surrounding the ground, as well as housing the president’s suite and VIP boxes.
The design concept is derived from the necessity to provide uninterrupted column free views of the cricket in a light and comfortable atmosphere. Local conditions, including seismic activity, hurricane winds, heavy rainfall, tropical temperatures and humidity, and extreme light levels, had to be taken into consideration.
The 3Ws stand combines reinforced concrete for the stand structure with lightweight steel framing for the roof canopy. Concrete could not offer the strength to weight ratio or stiffness of structural steel, essential characteristics for designing a cantilever roof for hurricane conditions.
The main canopy cantilevers up to 25m to provide drip line cover and shade to all the stand’s inhabitants, whilst maintaining column free views. To achieve this, the canopy unites the radial grid of the lower tiers with the orthogonal grid of the box levels through the use of steel cantilevered truss frames which vary in depth in response to the spanning requirements.
The main roof form is united with the camera gantry structure through the curved ‘cheeks’ on the two sides of the building. The geometry of this section of the roof was the most challenging section of the stand to design and construct. Each of the cheeks is made up of three cone shaped zones of cladding that overlap one another allowing air to flow between them. The front cone is cut back to form a leading edge which is defined by intersecting the cone geometry with that of a cylinder running perpendicular. This permits spectator views to the pitch boundary whilst maintaining protection from wind driven rain. The cheeks are supported by a curved steel cantilever frame which follows the cladding geometry very closely, thereby reducing the need for secondary steelwork, and is anchored into the side of the main building at three levels. The basic structural arrangement for the steel frame is made up of a series of curved universal beams, with a radius to suit the location within the cone, connected by a grid of diagonal welded tubular sections. This forms a stiff and highly efficient diagrid structure, limiting tip deflections even under hurricane conditions.
The leading edge of the cheeks required a complex double curved member that was achieved cost effectively in the steel frame by approximating the curve in six steel tubes. These were bent to specific single radii and welded end to end to form the edge beam. The tolerance was made up by welding bespoke steel plates to the beam so the cladding could be fixed in its exact location.
Kensington Oval is seen as the new standard in first class cricket and the 3Ws stand is central to this accolade.
This is a good planning response to updating this hallowed cricket ground. It gives an enhanced sense of place in the town, whilst retaining much of the former character. The design copes well with the many issues of climate, function and economy. The UK prefabricated steelwork addresses the complex geometry, and yet was constructed in the relatively unsophisticated local building environment.
The challenges were answered well, and the international work handled successfully.