While the railway stations next door use their architecture to announce themselves, the British Library sits back from the road and is approached through the dramatic gates and across an enclosed garden.
great russell street
After the British Library moved to St Pancras in 1997 building work began here to transform the area around the former Reading Room. Norman Foster’s scheme enclosed the brick Reading Room in stone to match the surrounding buildings and the whole area was roofed with a geodesic-like glazed roof.
There is lettering on the outside to the left of the entrance, and in the foyer behind the reception desk, but it is overpowered by other distractions. Going up the grand staircase to the galleries however is one of the country’s largest commissions of carved lettering for many years.