The new spaces allow the display of large, heavy objects that are not possible to exhibit elsewhere in the museum
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for The British Museum
Contract value: £90m
The WCEC building is on the north-west corner of the British Museum plot. It consists of five vertically linked pavilions (one of which is underground), and houses a new exhibition gallery, laboratories, conservation studios, storage and facilities to support the logistics and the loans programme. The new spaces allow the display of large, heavy objects that are not possible to exhibit elsewhere in the museum.
This building is the realisation of an extremely complicated brief in terms of spatial challenges, technical requirements and engineering. Its achievement derives from the elegant and simple way these challenges are met, while maintaining a coherent diagram as well as a refined and rational building enclosure. The jury felt that the substantial accommodation for curation activities, with demanding constraints on direct light, thermal control and pest prevention, are seamlessly threaded into the overriding diagram and structure, with an admirable rigour and clarity.