The Great Court at the British Museum
In the year 2000, the British Museum inaugurated its now celebrated Great Court. Designed by Foster and Partners, the ĂpoundÂ¨100 million project transformed one of the last spaces of London, hidden from public view since 1857.
The redevelopment of the two-acre square, enclosing it with a spectacular glass roof, turned the museum's inner courtyard into the largest covered public square in Europe, with the famous round Reading Room at its centre. The Great Court now leads directly into the galleries on each side, and provides a new pedestrian route across the museum from north to south. the curves of the glass roof, traced out by the structural glazing and the controlled use of natural light give the space much of its character.
Kenneth Powell situates the project within the historical evolution of the museum from its eighteenth-century origins to its twenty-first century position as one of the world's greatest visitor attractions.
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