Millenium Project - British Museum

Topics: British Museum, London, England Pages: 5 (1751 words) Published: August 11, 2010
1.Introduction Background and History

This report is based on The British Museum Queen Elizabeth II Great Court, which is the largest covered square in Europe and it is part of the Millennium Commission Projects (Millennium Commission, n.d.). The paper includes background and history of the museum explaining how it was decided to reconstruct The Great Court, what was it aim and who it was designed from. Then, will analyse the cost of the project including money invested, what is believed to be beneficial for the British Museum and what might be the risk of reconstructing the heritage building. Furthermore, the paper will analyse the results from a survey held in Greenwich School of Management among twenty two people for their opinion of The British Museum and The Great Court. Lastly, it will analyse the sustainability of the project. What was the original plan, if the original plan has been completed, what is actually and what the future plan of sustainability is.

1.2Background and History
The Great Court is situated at the British Museum in London. Originally, this courtyard was designed to be a garden. In 1857 this space was lost, when a number of book stacks were built in to house the library department (British Museum, n.d.). When the museum library department was moved to St. Pancras in 1997, it was launched a competition for re-designing of this space and giving possibility to re-open the courtyard (British Museum, n.d.). The competition was won by Lord Foster, whose design was roughly based on his concept for the roof of the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany (British Museum, n.d.). The key idea of the design was that visitors could experience new view of the surrounding with every step taken in the Great Court (British Museum, n.d.). In September 1997 the work on this glass and steel roof started and it was constructed of 3,312 different panes of glass (British Museum, n.d.). Build on two acres the Grate Court increased public space by forty percent, letting visitors to walk freely around the main floor (British Museum, n.d.). The main aims of this construction were for revealing hidden spaces, revising old spaces and open new spaces.

2.Analysis of cost, benefits and risk

1. £100 millions1. Opening the Reading Room
2. Revealing old, hidden and create new spaces
1. Losing the English Heritage side of the building
2. Failing to Attract Visitors

The Great Court construction cost the British Museum total of hundred million pounds. This project was supported by grants from the Millennium Commission with thirty million pounds and additional sixteen million pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund (British Museum, n.d.) and the remainder was raised from private sources (BBC News, 2001). This money were invested for the construction of the roof made by glass and steel , restoring the Reading Room and also to create big space for tourist with restaurant and cafe bar and entrance to the galleries on the main floor. Only seven million pounds from the total amount were spent for building services engineers, fire engineers and planning supervisors (Building Sustainable Design, 2001). It has been suggested from different articles from “The independent” and “The Guardian” that this money were wasted for nothing and the museum had less visitors , and is losing millions only to pay staff maintain the biggest closed square in Europe.

-Opening the Reading Room
For the very first time the Reading Room was open as part of the Great Court in the British Museum. At the moment it is used as a home of temporary major exhibitions (British Museum, n.d.). The Benefit of opening the reading Room is that the museum can attract more visitors and be able to show temporary exhibitions usually paid and by doing this; the museum can raise more money.

-Revealing old, hidden and create new spaces
The British museum is visited by millions of tourist each...
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