Serpentine Gallery Wins Lease to Additional Building, Hires Zaha Hadid to Work on It

While all the architecture talk in the UK at the moment might be soured by Prince Charles‘ recent, devious power play, there’s other news this week that should provide some more positive emotions about building coming from a place that provides them annually. The Serpentine Gallery, who hires a hot-shot architect every summer to build them a temporary pavilion in London’s Hyde Park (Peter Zumthor is up next), has announced that they’ve commissioned recent Stirling Prize-winner Zaha Hadid to redesign the interior of a nearby parks-owned building they’ve just won the lease to (pdf), beating out the Halcyon Gallery and Damien Hirst who were also vying for it. The Serpentine also has plans for Hadid to build something new alongside it, “an adjoining pavilion to be used as a social space and restaurant, creating a permanent architectural landmark in the heart of London.” Given that the architect has twice designed pavilions of the temporary variety for the gallery, their selection of architect doesn’t come as too great a surprise. Here’s a bit from the statement they’ve put out about their new second home:

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for the Serpentine Gallery. We have been interested in the potential of the building for some time and how it could help us expand the range of what we do. In these challenging times, we feared the opportunity would be lost. We are very grateful to our long-term friends for their very generous assistance, which has made it possible for us to create this exciting, new platform for the UK and beyond.”