Temporary exhibitions are an important activity for the Museum and a key part of its engagement with wider audiences. The new building offers a modern, accessible exhibition space that enables the successful temporary exhibitions programme to continue and grow.
A flexible, purpose built gallery also ensures that the Museum is able to host major international exhibitions in the future, allowing more people to see once-in-a-lifetime shows. Access to the new exhibition space is via the Great Court. At over 1,000sqm the gallery provides a space comparable to other UK and international institutions.
The new facilities also improve visitor circulation around the Museum. This helps ease some of the more congested areas within the Museum, for example the extremely busy Egyptian sculpture gallery. Visitors can access the new gallery from the north west corner of the Great Court and then exit into the west stair via a new Museum shop.
The new gallery also accommodates a programme of exhibitions that have until recently been displayed in the Reading Room, which has allowed the Museum to remove from the Reading Room the temporary structures and interventions which have been required to stage major exhibitions.