Queen Elizabeth II Great Court

Queen Elizabeth II Great Court

Queen Elizabeth II Great Court

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The central quadrangle of the British Museum in London was redeveloped to a design by Foster and Partners, from a 1970s design by Colin St John Wilson,Stonehouse, R. 2007. Colin St John Wilson: Buildings and Projects. London: Black Dog Publishing. p455. ISBN: 978 1 904772 70 5 to become the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court, commonly referred to simply as the Great Court, during the late 1990s. It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000.


The court has a tessellated glass roof designed by Buro Happold and executed by Waagner-Biro, covering the entire court and surrounds the original circular British Museum Reading Room in the centre, now a museum. It is the largest covered square in Europe. each of a unique shape because of the undulating nature of the roof.

Controversially, some of the stone in the court is from France, rather than being Portland Stone from southern England as agreed in the original contract with the masons.

Within the Great Court, there are shops and a café. It remains open after the British Museum itself has closed for the evening. The court acts as a central linking point for the museum, somewhat like I. M. Pei's Louvre Pyramid in...
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