Museums I have visited
(Updated 3 August 2002)
Using Lottery money many London museums have created new wings or new premises.  Part of the reason for visiting them is to see the new architecture as well as the collections.

April 2002 - The Geffreye Museum - English Domestic Interiors - Kingsland Road, E2

The museum is in a development of almshouses.  The new extension is at the back, not spoiling the facade, but including a lovely restaurant building, that feels like being under the branches of a giant tree or under a canopy, and a sweeping circular staircase down to education rooms.

The gardens The central almshouse The new restaurant

2002 - The Tate in London

The Tate has two galleries in London - Tate Britain, at the original site in Pimlico, and Tate Modern, at the new site in the converted power station at Bankside.
The new extension at Tate Britain, the Centenary development, was opened in November 2001.
Tate Modern was opened in May 2000.

Side of the Centenary development
Tate Britain - May 2002
The exterior of the Centenary development (as shown on 
the left) echoes the lines and materials of the original building (shown on the right) but with much less decoration. 
Inside, it has provided space for more facilities and exhibition space.  I found the new spaces airy and plain, providing blank canvasses on which the artwork can be displayed sympathetically.  Therefore, for me, the reason to visit Tate Britain is to see the collections and special exhibitions, or to eat at the restaurant, rather than to see the building.
The original entrance

Tate Modern - April 2002
From the outside, the building is severe and industrial.
It stands on South Bank of the River Thames, across the Millennium footbridge from St Paul's Cathedral.

Tate Modern from North Side of river Great Window in Tate Modern Chimney of Tate Modern Tate Modern stands across the Millennium Bridge from St Paul's

Inside the full height of the building is used in the main entrance way and smaller spaces are built into the shell to provide galleries.
I couldn't really capture the space on camera: it is one of those places that you need to experience.

The sleek lines and bright colour of the side entrance Inside the main entrance

The main entrance is on a considerable slope: easier to walk down before walking around the galleries than up with aching feet !

Looking up the slope to Graham
The Main Entrances Graham in bright sunlight

The restaurant is at the top of the building.
It has a magnificent view over the City of London and interesting food and wine.

View from Tate Modern restaurant

April 2001 - The British Museum - Central London

The museum is housed in buildings that were built around an open courtyard, filled until recently with temporary structures, housing part of the collection.  In the middle of the courtyard was the famous Reading Room that was not open to the public.  The majority of the books have been moved to the British Library at St Pancras  and the opportunity has been taken to clear the courtyard, to cover it with an arching plexiglass roof and to give visitors access across it.  It is spectacular and beautiful and worth a visit, even if you do not penetrate into the collections, which include the Rosetta Stone and, controversially, the Elgin Marbles.  The Reading Room is circular and is in the centre of the court.  It has arched windows around it for light and a round skylight in the centre of the ceiling.  Above the court, at a level where some of the tables can look through the arched windows into the Reading Room is a fine restaurant, which is similarly worth a visit.


The Great Court around the left side of the Reading Room
The Reading Room in the centre of the Great Court The Great Court on right side of Reading Room
Reading Room window and skylight Appropriate quotation The Great Court, looking towards main entrance