Basic Site Details

Name: British Museum
Town, district or village: Bloomsbury
City or county: London
Country: England
Parish:  
Status:  
Grid ref:
Notes: Burnet's designs were selected by H M Office of Works and the British Museum Trustees from a list of seven architects nominated by RIBA Council and submitted by Sir Aston Webb, then President of the RIBA, May 1904.

The Edward VII galleries, reconstruction of the North Library and layout of British Museum Avenue were part of a larger scheme embracing galleries on east and west and lecture theatre entered from Bedford Square. This superseded a previous scheme by Sir Henry Tanner.

Sculptor: George Frampton. Lettering by Eric Gill.

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Museum  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1Great Russell StreetYes 

Events

The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 1018231852 Original building
Item 2 of 1019041914 King Edward VII Wing (North Wing) and reconstruction of north library. Also British Museum Avenue running N from new wing laid out.
Item 3 of 10December 1904  Preliminary proposals, prepared in Glasgow office, presented to BM Trustees and taken to working drawings
Preliminary proposals prepared in Glasgow Office
Item 4 of 10April 1906  First contract for the basement
Item 5 of 1027 June 1907 Foundation stone 
Item 6 of 1019101913 Main work executed (delayed until 1910)
Item 7 of 10October 1913  Building handed over
Item 8 of 107 May 1914  Transfer of collections completed and building opened (by George IV and Queen Mary)
Item 9 of 101930s Destruction/demolitionBritish Museum Avenue running N from new wing demolished - Senate House by Charles Holden built on site.
Item 10 of 101933  North library destroyed to create mezzanine storage

People

Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 8(Sir) Robert SmirkeArchitectA18231852Original building
Item 2 of 8(Sir) John James BurnetArchitectB19041914King Edward VII Wing (North Wing) and British Museum Avenue running N from new wing laid out.
Item 3 of 8John Burnet & SonArchitectural practiceB1904 King Edward VII Wing (North Wing) and British Museum Avenue running N from new wing laid out.
Item 4 of 8William John BlainArchitectB19041914King Edward VII Wing (North Wing) and British Museum Avenue running N from new wing laid out. - as Chief Assistant to Sir John James Burnet
Item 5 of 8John Hatton MarkhamArchitectB1905After 1914Assisted John James Burnet on King Edward VII Wing and took over from him when H M Office of Works dispensed with Burnet's services
Item 6 of 8James Mitchell WhitelawArchitectBAfter 19051913King Edward VII Wing (North Wing) and British Museum Avenue running N from new wing laid out -as assistant to Sir John James Burnet
Item 7 of 8David Theodore FyfeArchitectB1905 or 19061914King Edward VII Wing (North Wing) and British Museum Avenue running N from new wing laid out -as assistant and subsequently prospective partner to Sir John James Burnet
Item 8 of 8Robert Leslie RolloArchitectB1914 * King Edward VII Wing (North Wing) and British Museum Avenue running N from new wing laid out -as assistant to Sir John James Burnet

* earliest date known from documented sources.


References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Academy Architecture1912 part 1 pp22-23 (shows King Edward VII Galleries, stairs)
Item 2 of 5British Museum British Museum Conservation plan  Private publication - not on public access
Item 3 of 5Caygill, Marjory and Date, Christopher1999Building the British Museum London: the Trustees of the British Museum 
Item 4 of 5Cherry, Bridget and Pevsner, Nikolaus1998London 4: North (The Buildings of England) London: Penguin Bookspp288-96
Item 5 of 5Crook, J M1972The British Museum   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 12Architect and Builder's Journal19 November 1913   
Item 2 of 12Architect and Builder's Journal30 December 1913   
Item 3 of 12Architect and Builder's Journal1 April 1914   
Item 4 of 12Architect and Builder's Journal22 April 1914   
Item 5 of 12Architect and Builder's Journal13 May 1914   
Item 6 of 12Architectural ReviewJune 1914   
Item 7 of 12Building News14 February 1913  pp234-235 King Edward VII Galleries with illustration of main staircase
Item 8 of 12Manchester Guardian28 April 1914  p10 with photograph
Item 9 of 12Manchester Guardian6 May 1914  p5 and images p7 & p10
Item 10 of 12Observer26 April 1914  p14
Item 11 of 12RIAS QuarterlyMay 194872Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)Obituary of Rollo
Item 12 of 12The Times11 November 1933   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers William John Blain: L v16 no1128