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Serpentine to hold competition for 2017 pavilion

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The Serpentine Galleries is to hold an invited competition to select a design for next year’s summer pavilion

In a break with tradition, the London venue will invite a handful of international architects to draw up proposals for the annual installation, which this year was designed by BIG (pictured).

The surprise move was revealed as the Serpentine announced a ‘new chapter’ which will see its two galleries in Kensington Gardens jointly led by artistic director Hans-Ulrich Obrist and chief executive Yana Peel.

The designs for all future pavilions will be selected by the leadership duo along with Richard Rogers and David Adjaye, who have been announced as key members of a new advisory group.

The Serpentine has also announced it will hold an exhibition in December featuring work by the late Zaha Hadid, who designed its first pavilion as well as the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.

Hadid, along with property developer Peter Palumbo, previously advised on the selection of architects for the annual pavilion commission, which started 16 years ago.

As in past years the pavilion will continue to be designed by an international architect who has yet to complete a building in the UK. The Serpentine has yet to reveal which architects it has invited to compete for next year’s commission.

The Hadid exhibition will feature rarely seen paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations by the architect inside the venue she designed.

Commenting on the announcement, Peel and Obrist said: ‘Zaha Hadid once said that “there should be no end to experimentation” and this has become a mantra for the Serpentine team.

‘It is the reason why we continue to put artists at the core of everything we do, crossing disciplines, innovating and reaching out to new audiences.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • That's a shame. There could have been a real opportunity here to do something extraordinary. A much more creative route could have been to discount those practices that are already proven and successful and target a competition and young, small firms that are excluded from other competitons due to turnover thresholds or PI insurance cover. This surely would be a better way to support talent, boost the sector and create a variety of interesting submissions

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