Google+ London Architecture Blog: Week 41 13 Feature #34 Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Week 41 13 Feature #34 Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Serpentine Sackler Gallery
Project Team: Zaha Hadid ArchitectsArup (Engineers),  Isometrix Lighting and Design
Date Completed: 2013
Location:  Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Hyde Park, London W2 3XA

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery is located inside an 18th century warehouse and new build extension by Zaha Hadid Architects in Hyde Park, across the Serpentine lake from the main Serpentine Gallery and the annual pavilion, which in 2000 was designed by Zaha Hadid and the latest of which is designed by Sou Fujimoto (Feature #17).

The gallery named 'The Magazine' is housed inside a 19th century brick former gun powder store and is accessed through a classical frontage facing onto West carriage drive, a connecting road between Kensington to the south and Bayswater to the north, and with Kensington Gardens to the west and Hyde Park to the east. The frontage of the gallery consists of a long colonnade with doric columns providing access to the gallery spaces and shop.To the front of this, the new landscaping provides access to the new restaurant housed inside the sweeping white curves of the new Zaha Hadid designed extension.

The new space consists of a restaurant, bar and social space, housed within a sweeping tensile structure.. The glass fibre woven textile skin stretches between a structural ring and five internal columns which as well as providing structure, act as light wells for the large, open interior space. Externally, the skin stretches down to ground level and then rises up to reveal glass wall which provides an entrance to the restaurant and further light to the interior. The roof then connects to the existing building where the skin appears to fold over the top of the connecting glass wall giving the appearance of flotation and minimising the visual impact onto the gallery building.

The interior is a large open space with a long bar set forward from the brick elevation of gallery building, lit naturally by the sweeping curves and organic forms of the openings and structure. At ground level, the furniture continues this theme with smooth and irregularly shaped furniture and the green textile finishes to the chairs. From here, the main focus points of the interior space are the tall columns which provide an interesting contrast to the formality and regularity of the gallery building. 

Outside, the landscape curves to meet the plan of the building and encourage movement between the two buildings, where a variety of summer events are hosted. Contextually, the building contrasts with its surroundings; the mature trees of Hyde Park, and the solidity of the classically proportioned gallery but the intention was not to blend. To quote the architect 'The synthesis of old and new is thus a synthesis of contrasts. the new extension feels ephemeral, like a temporary structure, although it is a fully functional permanent building.' 

For more information on the gallery, please visit the Serpentine Gallery website.

For further information on the work of Zaha Hadid including exhibitions and media articles, please visit the Artsy website.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this great article. I recently also read this interesting article about the rising star on the London art scene: