The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 73 (1995) > Issues > Issue 12 > The British Museum: Upgrading the Floor Over the King's Library
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The British Museum: Upgrading the Floor Over the King's Library

The planned move of the British Library to its new location at St Pancras gave an opportunity to resolve a long-standing problem at the British Museum. The floor over the King’s Library, constructed in the 1820s by Robert Smirke incorporates longspan hogbacked iron castings made by John Rastrick. The strength and soundness of Rastrick’s girders have been the subject of much debate over the years, and the permitted imposed load on the floor has been severely restricted. The Museum was keen to apply higher loads, and this paper describes the historical background, the investigative work, and the appraisal of the existing structure, together with the design solution adopted. R.E. Slade and C. Playle

Author(s): Slade, R E;Playle, C

Keywords: british museum, king's library, london;libraries;history;floors;cast iron;1820s;appraising;failures;historic buildings;load tests;bd21/84;trusses;strengthening