Serpentine Sackler Gallery
by Zaha Hadid


News: Zaha Hadid's extension to the Serpentine Gallery has opened today in London's Kensington Gardens (+ slideshow).

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

Located just across the river from the main gallery building, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery occupies a 200-year-old former gunpowder store. Zaha Hadid Architects renovated the old brick building to create new gallery spaces, then added a curving cafe and events space that extends from one side.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

The new tensile structure is built from a glass-fibre textile, forming a free-flowing white canopy that appears to grow organically from the original brickwork of the single-storey gallery building.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

It stretches down to meet the ground at three points around the perimeter and is outlined by a frameless glass wall that curves around the inside.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

Five tapered steel columns support the roof and frame oval skylights, while built-in furniture echoes the shapes of the structure.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

"The extension has been designed to to complement the calm and solid classical building with a light, transparent, dynamic and distinctly contemporary space of the twenty-first century," explain the architects. "The synthesis of old and new is thus a synthesis of contrasts."

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

For the original building, the architects added a new roof that sits between the original facade and the outer enclosure walls, creating a pair of rectangular galleries in the old gunpowder stores and a perimeter exhibition space in the former courtyards.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

A series of skylights allow the space to be naturally lit, but feature retractable blinds to darken it when necessary.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery is Zaha Hadid's first permanent tensile structure in the UK and follows the studio's Lilas installation at the gallery in 2007 and pavilion in 2000.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

The gallery opens with an exhibition from Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

This year's Serpentine Gallery pavilion by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto is a cloud-like grid of steel poles and remains open in Kensington Gardens until 20 October.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid has also recently revealed the first in a chain of boutiques for American shoe designer Stuart Weitzman and plans for an 11-storey apartment block that will be constructed beside New York's popular High Line park, while her forthcoming National Stadium of Japan is now set to become the main sporting venue for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

See more architecture and design by Zaha Hadid »
See all our stories about the Serpentine Gallery »

  • rip

    Let it rip.

  • ubar

    The Walkie-talkie strikes again.

  • JMA

    Have to say this is really quite beautiful, the columns in that new space look fantastic.

  • Crispy75

    This is not Hadid’s “first permanent structure in the UK”. The London Aquatics Centre and Glasgow Riverside Museum both pre-date it.

  • Steeevyo

    Haters gonna hate. This is a really good one.
    Respectful to the old building and libertine at the same time.

  • Apologies, this should have read as “first permanent tensile structure”. Amy/Dezeen

  • idplano

    Ho, ho!, of it’s course respectful of the existing building, as this “port Antwerp house ‘by Zaha Hadid architects.

    Ah I forgot, it’s also libertine! It is therefore essential to make good architecture.

    The Pantheon is also libertine, santa sofia, the St. Peter’s baldachin by Bernini, like the village roundabout Berlin philharmonic or are too libertine, of course.

  • rohtmuz

    Looks like the Walkie Talkie has spat out some chewing gum which has landed in Hyde Park. Now the Magazine has the unenviable task of washing it out of it’s clothes.

  • Volantt

    Please kill me…

  • Guest

    The design is completed by ‘Zaha Hadid Architects’, not just Dame Hadid herself. It seems unprofessional to name the firm wrong and unfair not to give credit to the people who actually worked on the design.

  • Airborne

    Fluid or parametric design is not alien but alienating.

  • Ralph Kent

    The inevitable ‘haters gonna hate’ line trotted out with its usual regularity and speed. Maybe Dezeen could save the fanboys the trouble and just ensure that it is included as part of the final paragraph of any ZHA story?

  • Disbeliever

    She used to be my hero. The BMW factory and the Wolfsburg Science Centre are amazing! However, her new works since then have all been lazy, generic parametric rubbish. She needs to take a break, get back to painting, and pull her interns away from their PCs. I used to really, really love her work, but this is pure s***.

  • Just a guy

    At least with this project, the form is somewhat informed by the material it is constructed out of. Still not to my taste, but it has a much lighter touch than ZHA’s default hideously overly engineered steel structures that they normally need to create these organic shapes.

  • jps

    LOL. Walkie Scorchie strikes again.

  • Concerned Citizen

    This shape is really becoming tiresome.

  • The Guardian article mentions Liam O’Connor as conservation architects on the pre-existing componant of the building. Strange there’s no mention of them here.

  • maverick