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'Classic Zaha' design set for new Serpentine

Zaha Hadid Architects has been appointed to design a second home for the Serpentine Gallery, just metres away from its Kensington Gardens base in west London

Working with Julian Harrap and Liam O’Connor, the practice will refurbish the Grade II-listed Magazine building (pictured) – a former munitions store dating from 1765 – and add a new external pavilion.

Hadid beat a competing submission from MRJ Rundell + Associates on behalf of Damian Hirst, who was intending to put his private collection on show, and another bid from the west London-based Halcyon Gallery.

The new 880m² ‘Serpentine Sackler Gallery’ will open in 2012, featuring a series of ground-floor galleries, new education spaces and a
restaurant. It will also host two new rotating annual commissions: an outdoor play-space and a pavilion lighting scheme.

The design is ‘classic Zaha’ according to gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones, and will be revealed in three months’ time when the project goes for planning.

Hadid designed the inaugural Serpentine Pavilion in 2000 and was brought in again in 2007 to work on a stop-gap ‘pre-pavilion’.

The choice of Hadid was a ‘curatorial decision’ claims Peyton-Jones. She explained: ‘She has just opened the academy in Brixton but has not had a building in central London.

‘It was really about that omission and a deep admiration for her work.’

She added: ‘Ever since I arrived in 1991, there have been discussions about which other buildings in the Royal Park might be available [for expansion].’

The gallery will continue with its annual temporary pavilion programme, which next year will be designed by Peter Zumthor.

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