Richard Rogers at the British Museum

photo 1I was lucky to get a preview of the new British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre as part of my role as editor on a book about the project published by the architects.

It’s an amazing building that stitches together new and old, in particular through facades clad in Portland stone pocked with the marks of fossils and frosted glass panels etched with the outline of parts of the Jurassic Coast. But what you may not appreciate from the street is that 68% of the building – housing storage as well as the sensitive equipment needed to explore and restore the museum’s collections – is underground.

If you are passing through Bloomsbury, watch out for the truck lift, which transports lorry-loads of items seven stories below ground and rises up again to ground level with surreal effect.

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