Redevelopment on the horizon The Egypt Exploration Society is pleased to announce that it will be working with Studio Becoming to redevelop its London premises over the next three years to make them accessible, innovative, and sustainable. The three pillars of the EES redevelopment plans The Board of Trustees of the EES have embarked on an ambitious plan to reunite the Society’s irreplaceable collections of papyri, cartonnage, and archive to create a publicly accessible hub for the study of and engagement with Egyptian cultural heritage in central Bloomsbury. This centre will provide accessible facilities for educating audiences of all ages and backgrounds with Egypt’s unique past as well as an innovative research centre for the study of ancient and medieval Egypt. An impression of what a new accessible Learning Hub might look like including a lift to reach upper floors, display cases to present the Society’s unique collections, flexible working space for school groups and other interested visitors. The highlight of this centre will be the relocation of the Society’s papyri collection – the largest in the world. The collection comprises over 500,000 fragments of literary and documentary texts dating from the third century BC to the seventh century AD as well as several important early fragments of the New Testament gospels. The texts are written in Greek, ancient Egyptian (hieroglyphic, hieratic, demotic), Coptic, Latin, Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and Pahlavi. “The EES papyri collection is to the New Testament what the Dead Sea Scrolls are to the Old Testament!” Alongside the papyri are the Society’s unique cartonnage and archive collections which will be innovatively displayed to visitors, helping them to discover more about Egypt, the archaeological exploration of its past, and Britain’s role in Egyptian heritage over the past century. New display spaces will allow the Society’s collections to be seen by visitors and raise important questions about Egyptian heritage. There will be opportunities to support these ambitious plans as they develop, and we’re delighted that Studio Becoming will help the Society also address its environmental targets for sustainability while respecting the peaceful and historic atmosphere of our Bloomsbury mews location. Studio Becoming Studio Becoming is an architecture practice built on three guiding principles: People, Place, Planet. People: We want to create healthy spaces that grow and evolve with the users allowing them to thrive. Place: Our ambition is to be "of" the location, developing sensitive, thoughtful, and historic references whilst applying a forward-thinking approach. Planet: Our projects aspire to be truly sustainable - "to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” by eliminating waste and powered by a solar economy. Our ultimate goal is to foster community, encourage diversity and allow the occupants to develop kinship and reciprocity. The exciting plans are just the beginning of a bright future for Egyptian heritage in Bloomsbury. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how you can support these ambitious proposals, then contact Dr Ed Scrivens on [email protected].