Queen Elizabeth II Great Court


Queen Elizabeth II Great Court

The central quadrangle of the British Museum in London was redeveloped to a design by Foster and Partners 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 [http://archrecord.construction.com/projects/portfolio/archives/0103BritishMuseum.asp] 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, bigger than a football field [http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/britain/britmuseum.htm] . The glass and steel roof is made up of 4878 unique steel members connected at 1566 unique nodes and 1,656 pairs of glass windowpanes making up 6100m2 of glazing [cite journal|title=Millennium and Beyond|author=Steve Brown|publisher=The Structural Engineer|date=05-11-03] ; 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 is deliberately open for later than the British Museum itself. The court acts as a centrally linking point for the museum, somewhat like the Pyramid at the Louvre in Paris.

Sculptures

Upon the Great Court's opening to the public in 2000 twelve sculptures from the British Museum's collection were installed on the main floor of the concourse:

* A stela of the Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II (9th century BC)
* A marble lion from Knidos, Asia Minor (3rd century BC)
* Two heads of Pharaoh Amenhotep III (circa 1400 BC)
* Two obelisks of the Egyptian King Nectanebo II (circa 350 BC)
* Hoa Hakananai'a, a statue from Easter Island (Date unknown, but between 1200 and 1800 AD)
* A Roman equestrian statue (2nd century AD)
* An Irish memorial slab carved in Ogham script (5th century AD)
* An Anglo-Saxon cross shaft (late 8th/early 9th century AD)
* A pair of Chinese guardian figures (17th century AD)

There were initial plans for a new, thirteenth sculpture to be commissioned from Anish Kapoor, but these were scrapped.

See also

* Thin-shell structure
* List of thin shell structures

References

External links

* [http://www.urban75.org/photos/london/lon541.html Great Court, British Museum] including [http://www.urban75.org/vista/museum1.html 360° panorama]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Great Court — There are two places called Great Court, both in the United Kingdom:* Trinity Great Court at Trinity College, Cambridge, and * Queen Elizabeth II Great Court at the British Museum, London.It is also the name of one of the ruins of ancient Baalbek …   Wikipedia

  • Queen Elizabeth's Men — was a playing company or troupe of actors in English Renaissance theatre. Formed in 1583 at the express command of Queen Elizabeth, it was the dominant acting company for the rest of the 1580s, as the Admiral s Men and the Lord Chamberlain s Men… …   Wikipedia

  • Trinity Great Court — Great Court is the main court of Trinity College, Cambridge, and reputed to be the largest enclosed court in Europe.The court was completed by Thomas Nevile, master of the college, in the early years of the 17th century, when he rearranged the… …   Wikipedia

  • King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes — Les King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes est une course hippique internationale de groupe I qui se déroule sur l hippodrome d Ascot, en Angleterre. C est une épreuve réservée aux chevaux de 3 ans et plus, qui se court sur… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • King george vi and queen elizabeth diamond stakes — Les King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes est une course hippique internationale de groupe I qui se déroule sur l hippodrome d Ascot, en Angleterre. C est une épreuve réservée aux chevaux de 3 ans et plus, qui se court sur… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes — Les King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes est une course hippique internationale de groupe I qui se déroule sur l hippodrome d Ascot, en Angleterre. C est une épreuve réservée aux chevaux de 3 ans et plus, qui se court sur… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elizabeth I — (Elizabeth Tudor) 1533 1603, queen of England 1558 1603 (successor of Mary I; daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn). * * * born Sept. 7, 1533, Greenwich, near London, Eng. died March 24, 1603, Richmond, Surrey Queen of England (1558–1603).… …   Universalium

  • Elizabeth II — (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor) born 1926, queen of Great Britain since 1952 (daughter of George VI). * * * in full Elizabeth Alexandra Mary born April 21, 1926, London, Eng. Queen of the United Kingdom from 1952. She became heir presumptive… …   Universalium

  • Queen's Pier — Queen s Pier, named after Queen Victoria, was a public ceremonial pier in front of City Hall in Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong. Its two generations have served as a ceremonial pier as well as a public pier, and have witnessed the official… …   Wikipedia

  • Court Martial (horse) — Court Martial Sire Fair Trial Grandsire Fairway Dam Instanta …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.