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Zaha on Peyton-Jones: 'She has an unrelenting enthusiasm to experiment'

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Zaha Hadid, the architect behind the Serpentine Gallery’s first summer pavilion in 2000, has paid tribute to departing boss Julia Peyton-Jones

Peyton-Jones announced today that she is to step down from her role as director at the organisation next summer after 25 years at the helm.

Speaking to the AJ, Hadid said that she was ‘deeply saddened’ by the news.

Hadid, who completed the 900m² Serpentine Sackler Gallery in 2013, said: ‘Julia has been an extraordinary director, transforming the Serpentine into the internationally respected institution that it is today.

‘Her unrelenting enthusiasm to experiment with new ideas and interpretations conveys Julia’s passion for art and architecture, with her annual pavilion commission being one of the most fantastic programmes for new architecture in the UK.’

In an interview with the AJ last year, Peyton-Jones revealed that she had met Hadid in 1994 after discussing the renovation of a small space in Warren Street (see AJ 22.05.14).

Although that project didn’t materialise, Hadid later became the first architect to design a temporary pavilion as part of the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion programme, instituted by Peyton-Jones.

When asked if the move helped launch Hadid’s practice on to the global stage, Peyton-Jones said: ‘It is always good to be modest in claiming these things,’ she says. ‘I’m sure Zaha would have a very strong view if I did say that.’

The Serpentine Pavilion history

2015 SelgasCano

2014 Smiljan Radic

2013 Sou Fujimoto

2012 Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei

2011 Peter Zumthor

2010 Jean Nouvel

2009 Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, SANAA

2008 Frank Gehry

2007 Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen

2006 Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond with Arup

2005 Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, with Cecil Balmond / Arup

2004 MVRDV with Arup (unrealised)

2003 Oscar Niemeyer

2002 Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond with Arup

2001 Daniel Libeskind with Arup

2000 Zaha Hadid

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