Opening to the public on Saturday, the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London transforms the Magazine, an 1805 gunpowder storage facility just north of the Serpentine Lake Bridge in London’s Kensington Gardens, into a public art gallery. The new 900-square-meter (9,688-square-foot) gallery—a five minute walk from Sou Fujimoto’s 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion—combines exhibition spaces in the renovated, neo-classical structure with restaurant and social spaces in a new 450-square-meter (4844-square-foot) fabric-membrane-and-glass expansion that allows Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA, to explore fluid forms reminiscent of her own Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in 2000.
The curvaceous white addition employs steel columns and steel ladder frames clad in FRP panels to support PTFE-coated fabric membranes that dip earthward. The space is enclosed by double-glazed, low-E glass walls. Around the perimeter of the addition, Arabella Lennox-Boyd’s landscape design echoes the curves of the addition before blending into the surrounding gardens.
The opening of the permanent Serpentine Sackler Gallery marks Hadid’s third collaboration with the institution. Her commission for a temporary pavilion in 2000 was the first in the Serpentine’s annual installation of temporary structures by architects who, prior to their invitation from the Serpentine, have not yet completed buildings in England. And in 2007, when a collaboration between Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen (of Snøhetta) was behind schedule, freshly-Pritzkered Hadid and Patrik Schumacher designed a rare second pavilion: Lilas, a temporary installation of three overlapped, fabric structures that opened in time for the Serpentine’s summer fundraising party.
See more images and drawings of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Project Gallery.