Ian Ritchie Architects

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British Museum

The British Museum. Etching by Ian RitchieThe British Museum appointed Ian Ritchie from Ian Ritchie Architects to act as its architectural advisor on its future space planning operations. The British Museum proposed developing a new strategy with regards to its Grade I listed Bloomsbury Estate of 10 hectares in order to increase capacity to meet the emerging needs of the Museum over the coming decades. The British Museum employs about 1,000 people, has a floor area of 100,000 sq m and some 10,000,000 objects. The challenge was to produce a physical, economic, social and cultural masterplan that allowed flexibility while achieving a phased evolution of the museum over the next fifteen years. Ian Ritchie provided strategic advice and an external viewpoint during this process. This enabled the Museum to gain a fresh perspective on key issues covering both public and behind-the-scenes areas. The masterplan produced a clear set of 20 strategies and 36 projects which were open to sequencing via the directorate but the implications were readable in terms of their impact and interrelationships with the existing physical museum, staff and visitors. Consultation with various external stakeholders included the London Borough of Camden’s planning department under the direction of Peter Bishop (now Director of Design for London). Dawn Austwick, Deputy Director of the British Museum commented, “The British Museum is delighted to have Ian Ritchie on board to advise on our space planning. We hope to benefit greatly from his expertise and ideas”. This layered masterplan was completed in 2006, and the first phase building – the Coservation and Collection Centre – was won by Rogers, Stirk, Harbour and Partners in 2007.

British Museum

London, UK

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