The £2.4m building for Warwickshire County Cricket Club uses many design features of Morley’s Lord’s cricket school of 1995. In particular, the 41 × 32 m main playing area is covered by clear-span steel trusses that incorporate glazed northlights and fabric louvre blinds to admit natural daylight yet diffuse direct sunlight.
The main difference from the Lord’s building is that the Edgbaston school has a pronounced upward-tilting eaves detail in response to the scale of surrounding buildings. What is more, the external elevation facing the public road is faced in hanging terracotta tiles.
One unique aspect is that the development involved public art and an education programme for the local community. The terracotta tiles were etched by local artists Mark Renn and Mick Thacker with a map of the world, and a poem composed by Simon Rae was mounted on the wall in stainless steel letters.
The main playing area can accommodate two six-a-side games or eight batting nets. At one end and within the same rectangular building shell are two storeys of ancillary accommodation containing offices, a bar, toilets and topped by a spectators’ gallery on three tiers. The building is naturally lit and ventilated to keep running costs low.
The cricket school was built by Moss Construction, with Price & Myers as structural engineer, Max Fordham & Partners as services engineer and Francis Graves as quantity surveyor. It attracted a £1.65m grant from the Sports Lottery Fund.