BFF 30th Anniversary - British Museum Temporary Shop

Happy New Year.  2012 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Burrell Foley Fischer.  Over that period we have become recognised as one of the leading practices specialising in buildings for cinema, media and the performing arts, together with urban design, residential and educational design and the adaptation and restoration of historic buildings. We are proud that the buildings designed by the Practice stand the test of time and are being used and enjoyed by large numbers of people every single day, whether as places to live, to work, to learn, to collaborate or simply to socialise and relax.

Over the course of this anniversary year we will take the opportunity to look back at a number of our schemes, those that were built and those that never progressed beyond the drawing board (of course in the early days it really was the drawing board!).  Starting with a project designed to exist for just three years...

Burrell Foley Fischer LLP won a design competition in July 1997 to design a temporary shop on the forecourt of the British Museum while the existing shop was decommissioned for the Great Court Project.  The challenge was to design a contemporary building that could sit happily in front of Smirke’s great portico and that would provide an accessible, enticing environment for trading by December 1997.

A simple trabeated structure of large Douglas Fir sections, reflecting the rhythm of the adjacent colonnade, allowed the shop to evoke references to the origins of the Museum’s classical architecture in the primitive hut.  The shop was designed so that it could be taken down after three years leaving no trace on the forecourt, obviating the need for Listed Building Consent.