Great Court at the British Museum

Investigating vernacular architecture, culture and way of life, and protecting and reusing historic buildings.

Great Court at the British Museum
UK
1994 - 2000

This project is about the reinvention of one of London’s long-lost spaces. The Great Court is entered from the Museum’s principal level, and connects all the surrounding galleries beneath a spectacular glazed canopy. At its heart is the magnificent space of the restored Reading Room. Below the level of the Court are the new Sainsbury African Galleries, an education centre, and facilities for schoolchildren. The project involved restoring 6,000 sqm of courtyard façade – 2,000 tonnes of stone were needed to rebuild the south portico in the same materials as the original design. As a cultural square, the Great Court resonates beyond the confines of the Museum, forming a new link in the pedestrian route from the British Library to Covent Garden and the river.