The Great Court at the British Museum recaptured lost space to facilitate better circulation throughout the Museum. A glazed canopy, designed to enhance daylighting while reducing solar gain, appears to rest gently on the Museum's 19th Century architecture.
Although originally an open space when the Sir Robert Smirke-designed landmark was comissioned, the courtyard was soon filled by the circular Reading Room and its related bookstacks. Following the restoration and reinvisioning orchestrated by Foster and Partners, the Great Court has become a primary circulation zone linking all the Museum's collections. Visitors ascend the broad staircases encircling the Reading Room to find temporary collections and a restaurant. Below the Court are new galleries and educational spaces.
Keywords: courtyard, renovation, restoration, glazing, canopy.