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Civic Building The British Museum History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

This paper identifies a specific context and the architectural view of British Museum. This will mention or discuss the core of the said building. Which will specifically, elaborate the features and the pictures to be included. The British Museum has the four main wings, and was physically designed in the nineteenth century. There are other important architectural developments that include the round ‘Reading Room’ having a domed ceiling and the Norman Foster designed Great Court. Eventually, architect Sir Smirke (1780-1867) in 1823, designed the latest core aspect of the building.

It is quadrangle in shape having four wings; the north, east, south, and west wings. Then, it was completed by 1852. In this building it includes the galleries for classical sculpture as well as the Assyrian, together with the designed for residences intended for the staff. The above-stated architect designed the building inspired by the Greek Rival style. That was emulated as the classical Greek architecture. Other features of the building are the columns and pediment at the South entrance. The said style had become declared as being popular since the 1750s up to this time.

The up-to-the-minute of 1820s technology was used to construct for this building. It was built on a concrete floor. Cast iron and London stock brick were used for the frame of the building. Then, the public facing sides were covered in a layer of Portland stone. Fortunately, the building won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Gold Medal and that was in 1853.

A portion also of the building is ‘The King’s Library’, which is the first wing of the Smirke design and this was successfully completed in 1827. This paper will also show a photo of the said building façade, which is being describe above.

In the South entrance and Museum forecourt, this was designed in order to reflect the purpose of the building. This is the external part of the building, where you can see the monumental South entrance, with stairs, colonnade and pediment, and this was intended to reflect the astounding objects inside of it. The column design of the building has been borrowed from ancient Greek temples, and the pediment at the top is a common feature of classical Greek architecture. There are east and west residences have a more modest exterior. It is said that this has been an example of mid-19th century domestic architecture and has bee also reflecting the domestic purpose of these wings. The staff of the Museum is originally staying in the building.

Sydney Smirke designed the so-called Weston Hall, who eventually in 1845 took over of his brother, Sir Robert Smirke. The said designed was originally inspired by the classical Greek building, specifically of its patterns and colors of the ceiling which was vibrantly decorated. It has electric lamps at the entrance hall which are imitated from the original lighting lamps in the Museum. This was the first public building that has been electrically lit. There it happened the restoration of the hall in the year 2000, which was partly donated from the Weston Foundation amounting to £20 million.

Definitely, all these architectural views tender a good and great impact for the public in which it will domestically beautify the nation as a whole.

In the portion where you can see the ‘Reading Room’, is located at the center of the great court, which means stands at the heart of the Museum. This was figuratively built in 1857. The white wing, that faces the Montague Street, was ultimately designed by the architect Sir John Taylor (1833-1912) and constructed in 1882-1885. It was absolutely designed having the same style of the quadrangle building. As requested about the design of the building, that there should be a monumental entrance and a caption (to be read above the doorway). So these can both be seen from Montague Street.

Another site of the building is the King Edward VII galleries. This was designed by Sir John Burnet (1859-1939), and proposed to be part of the larger development at the north side of the Museum. The said design and the north entrance are primarily marked by imperialistic features and depict on Roman characteristics rather than Greek. With this, the said Imperial features include the royal coat of arms, which is placed above the entrance of the gallery. The crowns’ sculptures of the lions’ heads and the coats of arms of Edward VII were on the stonework above the north entrance.

The north entrance was not part of the plan to be one of the public entrances. But this entrance and gallery were designed for the purpose of facing the long avenue which can be part of a victory parade route. There is also the saluting gallery which can be seen at the north entrance. Its foundation stone was laid in 1907 by King Edward VII. Its building was opened in 1914 by King George V and Queen Mary.

The Duveen gallery was constructed for the Parthenon sculptures and was funded in 1931 by Sir Joseph (later Lord) Duveen. The said architect was an American nationality named, John Russell Pope (1874-1937). He also then, designed the National Gallery in Washington. This gallery was completed in 1939 but then, because of damage during the Second World War, it was not opened until 1962.

Nowadays, the Museum has an affluent architectural heritage as well as the site which has been developed and raised at its level of expectancy of the people.

There was a redevelopment made of the Museum as shown in the picture at the right side. It is gorgeously made and designed.

The courtyard area which is located at the centre of the British Museum was considered as one of London’s long-lost spaces. There is an open garden, which in a short while after its completion in the mid-19th century, was filled by the round Reading Room and with book stacks. This adds beauty inside the Museum.

Just to imagine a big building with no such spaces allocated intended for any purposes was like a city without a park. Therefore this project truly illustrates reinvention. Otherwise, people might just treat it as the usual one, with no changes at all. Better reinvent for enhancement for tourist views purposes, too.

Counting on the people who do the annual visit, there are numbers; it is over five million annually. It is said that the British Museum is as popular as the Louvre in Paris or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Therefore, it has a great impact to the country if not being taken cared. Historically in the absence of a centralized circulation system this popularity caused a critical level of overcrowding, by then in this kind of scenario, it can be very frustrating for the tourists experiencing it. If this happens repeatedly, there might be a decrease of visitors who appreciate viewed all those sculptures, and other designs.

In turn to the departure of the British Library to St Pancras, it has been provided the opportunity to remove the book stacks and in able to recapture the courtyard for the purpose of giving a public-focused sites of the building. The Great Court will be entered from the Museum’s main level, and through certain connections, all that surrounds the galleries. Inside of it, this has been the space which is considered as the largest enclosed public space in. There is information that points out a bookshop and a café. Looking at its heart, you can find the magnificent space of the restored Reading Room.

Then now, there is an information centre and library of world cultures, which for the first time in its history is made to be viewed by everyone. The wide staircases encircle the Reading Room which leads to a gallery. The space is only for temporary exhibitions with a restaurant. At the lower side, the Court has the new Sainsbury African Galleries, an education centre, and complete facilities for children who are studying.

There is glazing canopy that views another scene that truly gives a good sightseeing for tourists. And this has been said, it is a fusion of state-of-the-art engineering and a form of economy. It has a unique geometry which is dramatically designed to cover the irregular gap between the drum of the Reading Room and the courtyard facades. This forms both the primary structure and the framing for the glazing canopy, which was greatly designed to give emphasis during day time because of its sunlight and reduce solar gain.

In this view, as a cultural square, the Court also resounds in excess of the confines of the Museum, which forms a link in the pedestrian route from the British Library to Covent Garden and the overlooking river. As a complement to this civic pathway, the Museum’s forecourt is freed from cars and has been restored to form a new public space. In regards of its Great Court it is open for public viewing, specifically from early in the morning until early evening, thus creating a major and new sightseeing amenity for London.

This British Museum is obviously built intended for everyone and the culture of London. With its corresponding collections, which physically counts for about more than seven million, are considered among the largest and the most wide-ranging collections in the world. This originated from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from the start up to the present times. This architectural building of British Museum has been established in 1753.

It is largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Han Sloane. It was first opened for public viewing in 15 January 1759, on the site of the current museum building. Its expansion has resulted in the creation of some annex institutions. Some objects in the collection, which were used and that are most noticeable are the Elgin Marbles, these are from Parthenon. They even called it the objects of intense controversy and even called for restitution to their countries of origin. In 1997, when the British Library or the Round Reading Room was moved to a new site, then the British Museum was same declared unique. It is because of the two in housed national museum of antiquities and the national library are both located in the same building.

People are used to visit locations or places like what British Museum is having. As said, it is one of the most wondrous places to go and see amazing artery features. There have been different designs and sculptures that almost no one could just ever imitate it. It has been a rare thing in the world. Why do people prefer to visit with sites like this, because of its designs and the artistic views? So then, historically, British Museum is considered one of the most off all public buildings in the world.

In terms of collections, the British Museum is worldwide in origin and is purposively for the use of the citizens of the world. Meaning, with no discrimination this can be viewed or visited by all kinds of human race. This also work in partnership with other sectors on exhibitions, skills-sharing, and research with many international partners. Hence, this partnership brings another or new insights in terms of collection, and helps create new understanding in collaboration with the changing world. It is very important that this kind of sightseeing, not only an ordinary one, but a worldwide-known museum in the world. That is why a lot of people coming from different places or countries travelling, spending, exerting their efforts just to make it possible for them to see the wondrous deeds of the famous architects in the world.

In regards with the international programmes, in connection with the key international partnerships could help the communication open among nations and to other sorts of international communities involving this matter. This must also be taken cared not only the authorities but of course, we as concern citizen must also be truly be concerned of the beautification of the said known-building.

There was even story about gods and goddesses, in relation with the British Museum when it was built. It was said that the ancient Greeks believed, that there were a numerous gods and goddesses. These so-called gods had said who controlled over many different aspects of life on earth. In different ways they were very human. Just like what we are now, they could also be kind or mean, annoyed or pleasurable, malicious or affectionate. They also know how to fall in love with each other, and they did. They used to argue with each other and even stole from each other. The king of all the gods and goddesses was named Zeus. He even could make control of the weather and was often called ‘the thunderer’ or ‘the cloud-gatherer’. He dwelt with the other gods on Mount Olympus, a high mountain in northern Greece.

A temple was built in Athens; it was called the Hephaisteion, intended for the gods and the goddesses. Hence, the ancient Greeks built great temples and sanctuaries to their gods. They usually hold different kinds of festivals in their honor, with processions, sports, sacrifices and competitions as well. The stories of the gods’ that were developed were told to children by their mothers up to the extent that it was told to a big crowd by professional bards and storytellers. Pretty sure people today are still enjoying of hearing stories about the Greek gods.

Now, going back to the main on the Governance side, technically the British Museum is described as a non-departmental public body that is specifically sponsored by the Department of Culture, Media, and Sports. This has been through a three-year funding agreement between them. The head is the Director. This British Museum building or establishment is run from its inauguration by a ‘Principal Librarian’, that was the time when the book collections were still part of the Museum. The role was renamed in 1898 as ‘Director and Principal Librarian’ and in 1973 as ‘Director’, in such time on the separation of the British Library.

There were 25 Board of Trustees being created but of course with the Director as their accounting officer, in such purpose of reporting to the specified Government agency, that eventually hold this matter. The Director was then, responsible for the general management and control of the Museum that is of course in accordance with the British Museum Act of 1963 and the Museums and Galleries Act of 1992.

In connection with the 1963 Act, it was chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who called as the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker of the House of Commons. The board was formed on the Museum’s commencement to hold its collections in trust intended specifically for the nation. And that is without actually owning anything for themselves, in which at this present time, they have fulfilled mainly the advisory role.

With those Trustee appointments, these are governed by the regulatory structure being lay down in the code of practice on public appointments. This is specifically issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. In the year 1895, Parliament bodies gave the Museum Trustees a loan amounting to £200,000 for the purpose of purchasing from the Duke of Bedford to supply all 69 houses which were built inside the Museum building, in the five streets that surround the building namely: 1) Great Russell Street, 2) Montague Street, 3) Montague Place, 4) Bedford Square, and 5) Bloomsbury Street. But, it came up that the Trustees planned to demolish these houses and instead to build around the West, North, and East sides of the Museum. This would specifically view the new galleries that would completely fill the block on which the Museum stands.

One of the famous architects Sir John James Burnet was appealed to propose his long-term plans to extend the building which will be placed in three sides. In this aspect, there are houses in Montague Place that were claimed hammered down after the said sale. So, with the impressive plan only the Edward VII galleries which are located at the centre of the North Front h have been constructed, these and were built in 1906-14 by J.J. Burnet design, and being opened by King George V and Queen Mary by the 1914.

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