British Museum - Great Court from Stairs - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
Virtual tour showing a view of the Great Court in the British Museum taken from part way up the stairs. From this vantage point one can get a better impression of the layout of the court. Panorama taken in March 2012. Interestingly the satellite view of the Google map shows a plane flying over Russell Square to the northwest.
British Museum - Great Court from Stairs - FURTHER INFORMATION
British Museum - Great Court from Stairs - London visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'British Museum - Great Court from Stairs' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Greater London.
The British Museum is one of the top tourist attractions in London. The Great Court was originally intended to be a garden when designed by Robert Smirke, but the Reading Room was added in 1852-7 to make up for book space lost elsewhere. In 1997, the library section of the British Museum was relocated to the new British Library building between Euston and Kings Cross.
At that time a competition was held for a new layout of the Great Court. This was won by Lord Foster with the three-fold aim of revealing hidden spaces, revising old spaces and creating new spaces. The project cost £100 million and was completed in 2,000 permitting public access for the first time to areas closed since 1857. The great glass canopy contains 3,312 panes of glass, with no two being the same. It increased public space in the museum by 40%. The old Egyptian storage area was converted into the Ford Centre for young visitors with various activities whilst to the north two new galleries were created. Of these, the Sainsbury Galleries house part of the Africa collection and the Wellcome Trust Gallery contains 'a series of long term, cross-cultural, thematic exhibitions, currently based around Living and Dying'. A temporary exhibition space, called Room 35, was also formed by this project.
Today, the Great Court forms one of the foci of the British Museum. The Reading Room often houses temporary exhibitions and within the Great Court are various information desks, shops, cafes and a restaurant. It also allows access to some of the upper galleries via circular stars that encircle the exterior of the Reading Room.
Great Russell Street,
British Museum Website
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Tube: Holborn (Central, Piccadilly lines), Tottenham Court Road (Central, Northern lines), Russell Square (Piccadilly line).