Daniel Libeskind's celebrated 'Eighteen Turns' pavilion will no longer be open to the public after the Serpentine Gallery sold it to a mystery private buyer for £100,000 last week.
The gallery confirmed to the AJ this week that it has accepted a £100,000 offer for the origamiinspired aluminium construction to an art collector and said it would be staying in the UK, although AJ understands it may end up in Ireland.
Knight Frank partner Dick Ford, who found the buyer, said he will end its role as a public building.
'It won't be a public facility, ' he said. 'We sold it like you would sell a painting. Quite a number of people expressed an interest but in the end it's the colour of money - someone who says 'here's the loot'.'
The Goethe Institute had looked to be in the driving seat over its plans to buy the building and modify it to make it an all-weather venue at Manchester University (AJ 5.7.01), but Ford said its interest fell by the wayside.
Daniel Libeskind told the AJ he was 'delighted' that the Serpentine had made the sale and could recoup its investment in the project, but rejected claims that he had said it should remain a public edifice. Since opening on 16 June, Eighteen Turns has attracted 70,000 visitors to the Kensington Gardens site, but the 630m 2scheme is set to be dismantled on 9 September. And, like its construction, it will be a speedy process - the pavilion took just seven weeks from design to completion. It will take a week to dismantle and three weeks to reassemble.However, it is likely that the new owner will have to apply for planning permission - the Serpentine had just a temporary consent.
The building is the second in a series of annual architectural commissions by the gallery, following the contorted marquee by Zaha Hadid last year, which has now moved on to find a more public home as a summer pavilion for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.