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British Museum South Colonnade

Refurb Renovation News

Great to have been part of the team that restored the Main Entrance to the British Museum.

Curo Construction, a privately-owned construction company predominately operating in Central London, has been selected as Principal Contractor to embark on essential refurbishments of the South Colonnade at the British Museum, a Grade I Listed estate. Essential refurbishment and building conservation works are being undertaken, which include the replacement of the copper roof finish to the South Colonnade. 

The British Museum is a monumental Greek Revival style building completed in the mid-19th century. It has four vast wings, and a triangular pediment, or tympanum, featuring stone sculptures called ‘The Progress of Civilisation’ designed by Sir Richard Westmacott. The site also houses an unparalleled collection of objects that date back 2million years, including famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone and the Sutton Hoo helmet. 

Underneath the vast sections of roof, behind the colonnade, structural reinforcement work is also underway within the voids below. Stabilising structural elements and preventing any future water ingress will then facilitate work to the ornate soffit which has undergone various repairs over the years. The project has allowed for a holistic approach in carrying out carefully executed building conservation techniques. The works are expected to finish by Spring 2021.

Extensive planning and liaison with the Museum’s stakeholders were carried out in advance of the works to ensure that visitor experience was maintained and that the building was fully protected in its temporary state. COVID-19 interrupted the progress of the work for a period of time, but the project is now operating in COVID-secure conditions. The scaffolding, temporary roofs and temporary works have been meticulously evaluated to ensure that the Museum was able to open when government restrictions permitted. The key aesthetic element of the project is restoring the soffit bringing it back to the correct historical context with the use of traditional plastering techniques and materials and will be finished to blend seamlessly with the surrounding Portland stone.