The Great Court at the British Museum
- Part of Scala’s Art Spaces series
- Provides a fascinating profile of one of the world’s most prestigious buildings
The addition to Scala’s Art Spaces series is one of the most prestigious buildings of all: The Great Court at the British Museum. The two-acre square, enclosed by a spectacular glass roof, transforms the Museum’s inner courtyard into the largest covered public square in Europe, with the Reading Room at its centre. Designed by Foster & Partners, the £100 million project transformed one of the lost spaces of London, hidden from public view since 1857. While the Louvre created a new circulation space beneath its massive courtyard, topped by I.M. Pei’s pyramid, the British Museum covered its rather smaller court to create a magnificent central space leading directly into the galleries on each side. The curves of the glass roof, traced out by the structural glazing, give the space much of its character. Written and researched in collaboration with Foster & Partners and the British Museum, and drawing on Foster’s superb image archive, this is a magnificent little book on a world-famous site.
Kenneth Powell is an architecture critic, journalist and writer. He has published widely, including books on Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and John McAslan. He was elected Honorary Fellow of the RIBA in 2000.