About this talk

Running time: 38 minutes

Norman Foster's (see More With Less, Exploring The City and Chateau Margaux, France) partner, Spencer de Grey, talks about a major project in his charge, the transformation planned for the British Museum after the British Library moved out to new premises at St. Pancras. The Foster scheme provides a major new heart to the building and a clear pattern of movement for the first time in the Museum's one hundred and fifty years of existence.

De Grey did his architectural training at Cambridge. After a two-year break in Canada, and a period of work with the London Borough of Merton, he joined Foster and worked on a number of their well-known buildings, such as the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank and Stansted Airport. In 1982 he became a partner, and has since controlled schemes such as the Sackler Galleries and the Law Faculty in Cambridge.

The British Museum project not only considers the transformation of the building itself, but also the impact of the Museum to north and south, with the creation of a public route right through the building which remains open until late in the evening. The exemplar is the Galleria in Milan, which links key parts of the city centre and is very much a social focus for people.

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Spencer de Grey


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